Unemployment means under-utilization or non-utilization of available man-power. Unemployment refers to the state of being unemployed or not having a job i.e. joblessness. A person is said to be unemployed if he or she is looking for work or is willing to work at the prevailing wage but is unable to find the job. India, with a vast population of over 2 billion individuals, is facing the biggest problem of the century in the form of unemployment of worthy and productive citizens.
Our country is set to be progressing by leaps and bounds in the matter of economy but this progress is low sided that the net results is the sharp increase in the number of unemployed. Population of our country India is increasing day by day. It is the second highest populous country in the world. Today, we have over 1.15 billion people in our country and so is the increasing unemployment rate. Today, we have both educated and uneducated unemployed people. We have skilled and unskilled unemployed youths both in the urban and the rural areas.
Even degree holders are unemployed. In India the problem of unemployment is very acute. In the cities there are millions of educated people who either have no job or are forced to take up some work which is not commensurate with their capabilities. In the rural areas a large number of people remain unemployed for many months in a year. Unemployment is not only a cause of poverty but also prevents opportunity to earn a livelihood. In India the linkage between poverty and unemployment is complex. Unemployment rate is much lower that what would be expected given the extent of poverty.
In 1993-94, 36 percent of the population was poor but unemployment was only 5.9 percent, the large gap between the incidence of poverty and of unemployment is due to a phenomenon known as disguised employment, people in extremely low productivity and low income activities. Unemployment rate has shown a consistent trend. It has been increasing over the years, given the increase in population and the addition to labour force this has meant that the absolute number of unemployed has increased considerably since the 1990s.
Unemployment means lack of work for those persons who are willing to work. There are two categories of unemployed persons-uneducated persons and educated persons. Unemployment among the educated people is increasing. Besides, unemployment, there is under employment also. Under employment means insufficient employment. For example, a farmer is under employed because he does not have work for the whole year. Unemployment is one of the major problems of the Indian economy. We know India is an underdeveloped economy and therefore the nature of unemployment here differs from the one that prevails in a developed economy. Unemployment has two aspects — rural unemployment and urban unemployment.
The bulk of the increase in the rate of unemployment comes from the rural sector. Rural unemployment is either seasonal or disguised. Seasonal unemployment in rural area results due to crop rotation and disguised unemployment is the underemployment due to the lack of proper opportunities at the rural level. Urban unemployment is either industrial or educated unemployment. The educated unemployed are the individuals who are either unemployed due to their high qualifications or are underemployed as a result of the wrong job profiles they are in. In either case, frustration forces them to shift to a new job, which could make them either underemployed or unemployed.
In 1990s one of the factors that cause an increase in unemployment was a decline in agricultural growth. The impact of an overall slowdown of the agricultural sector would be more severe on the poor because of their dependence on it. The casual agricultural workers who constitute 35- 40 percent of the rural workers also form the bulk of those below the poverty line. They are more vulnerable to underemployment also depending on the changing demand in agricultural sector. Farmer suicides is indicative of the structural nature of the problem. It has to do with persistence of deep socio-economic inequalities relating to caste, class, ownership of land assets, and access to education, health care, credit and social insurance.
The eleventh five year plan wants to double agricultural production, 4 percent. Women constitute less of the labour force. They only account for one third of the total labour force; it is due to the unequal opportunities provided, socio-cultural preferences relating to maternal, household responsibilities and the lack of educational attainment. (gender inequality). The same argument also explains the labour participation of the SC and ST communities in the rural workforce. They constitute the majority of households involved in casual wage labour in agriculture. The great disparity in the nutritional, educational and social status of the SC and ST communities is a cause for their poverty.
It curtails real opportunity, something that economic growth fails to take care of. In India there is chronic under-employment or disguised unemployment in the rural sector and unemployment among the educated classes in the urban areas. The main cause of unemployment among the educated lot is the slow rate growth of the economy in relation to increase in the number of educated persons. Several factors are responsible for the problem of unemployment. Our defective system of education which lays too much emphasis on literary training is perhaps the main cause of unemployment. Our government’s faculty planning is also responsible of this problem to a great extent. It fails to create suitable job opportunities for all.
Population explosion is a big reason to bring this problem into existence. Population of our country is increasing at fast rate but job opportunities are not increasing accordingly. Increasing Population i.e. High population growth, Recessions, Inflation, Corruption, Disability to do the job, Nepotism, Demand of highly skilled labour, Attitude towards employers, Undulations in the business cycles or agricultural sector comprising of the factors such as low production, natural calamities such as drought, famine or any natural disaster, Unsatisfied incomes or salaries of the employees, Willingness to work: Young people are not ready to take jobs which are considered to be socially degrading or lowly and Deterioration in Industry and business. Unemployment results in low productivity and nil or very low incomes.
This also leads to the further degradation of household standards and poverty is perpetuated. There is a net loss of national income and the economy suffers on account of low productivity. Add to this, the violent measures taken up by the youth, agitations and individual frustration, which reaches a new pinnacle every day. Low economic growth is the one of the outcomes. Unemployment can lead to emotional and mental stress, A person can also get demoralized, he can do wrong things like he can indulge in the habits like alcohol and drug abuse or even may commit suicide and Higher income inequalities and disparities leading to nothing but poverty. Our government has taken several important measures to solve this growing problem.
With a view to increase employment government has made sincere efforts to adopt and encourage labour intensive investment and production programmes. In this connection attention was paid on agriculture, agro-based industries, and cottage industries. Since 1976 a weekly Journal-“Employment News” is being published both in English and Hindi. Education is also being planned in such a way that educated youths should be free from employment problem. Vocational education with the needs and requirements of the country is being arranged.
A new education policy, 1986 has been launched. With the primary objective of generating additional employment, especially in backward regions and weaker sections, a number of employment programmes have been started by the Govt, of India. Public employment generation schemes have existed for a long tie. Food for work programmes were created to provide income and food security in 1970. These are IROP, The Desert Development Programme, the National Rural Employment Programme, The Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme; the National Scheme of Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment increase in employment has been one of the major objectives in all Five-year Plans of India.
In many of these programmes food grains have been used as a component of wage. Technical and Vocational education is being given in schools. Family planning is encouraged among the young men and women to control population. Different technical and professional colleges are being established in every state. This is a good sign that government is trying its best to uproot this problem. The State must contribute by launching more infrastructure based projects and core sector units. The wasted crop lands should be cultivated and should be issued only to the landless unemployed people. Private sector should launch more process industries, which employ large number of skilled and semi- ‘killed people in the rural areas.
The main remedy lies in the Rapid Industrialization. The need of faster economic growth to generate more jobs, The need of improvements in the education and training provided to the youths with a greater focus on vocational skills and self-employment, The Government support to struggling industries is necessary to try to save jobs and Promoting education especially female education and motivating people to have small families. In response to public campaign right to work in November 2004, government launched a food for work programme in 150 backward districts for 100 days to BPL families.
A bill was then drafter, national rural employment guarantee bill; this obligates the government to provide atleast 100 days of wage to every household whose adult worker volunteers to do unskilled manual labour. It was launched in 200 districts in 2006. (1) The State is encouraging labor-intensive industry so that more individuals could be employed. (2) The emphasis is being laid on agriculture, agro-based industries and cottage industries.
The small scale industries also fall under this category. (3) A number of employment programmes have been initiated IRDP’ JRY’ HRY’ SEPVP are some of the main programmes by the government. (4) Vocational education is being stressed upon to eliminate the unemployment menace. Vocational education can make them adept at one particular skill so that they could start contributing from day one. (5) Many of the unemployed individuals are from backward classes. State employs them through special recruitment drives/the newspapers and magazines advertise these vacancies regularly.
“Employment News”reflects this effort of the government. (6) State Governments have set up Employment Generation Councils, which look after the employment needs of their respective districts. (7) The Ninth Five Year Plan lays adequate stress on the measures for reducing the already high unemployment levels in the country. We must conclude by stating that at unemployment issue must be tackled with utmost care and seriousness as it has already assumed alarming proportion in the social and economic scenarios of our nation.