India, Lok Sabha Elections, 2019, General Elections, Unemployment, Voters, Terrorism, Inflation, rising prices

A report titled ‘State of Working India’ (SWI) 2019 released by the Bengaluru based Azim-Premji University’s Centre for sustainable employment reveals 50 lakh people have lost their jobs between 2016 and 2018.

This is the period when the Narendra Modi government undertook the demonetization in November 2016. The report states that the unemployment rate has been steadily increasing over the last decade.

The report said that the unemployment is highest among the age group of 20-24 years. The unemployment reportedly affected all segments of the society with men and women in both rural and urban areas suffering job losses.

“In general women are much worse affected than men. They have higher unemployment rates as well as lower labor force participation rates” says the report.

The report however clarified that though the period of the survey coincides with the exercise of demonetization, a clear causal relationship cannot be established.

Another source that can give credible data is the survey of National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) conducted by the Ministry of Statistics. The Government has however refrained from placing the document in public domain.

However, leaked data of the NSSO survey says unemployment in the country has touched 45 year high and that the rate of unemployment currently stands at 6.1 for 2017-18.

The study also undertook a comparative analysis of three other reports on unemployment trends and the results were found to be consistent in all three.

The report adds “The last three years have seen turmoil in the Indian labour market that gives out four big lessons namely- Unemployment has increased steadily post 2011, Highest educated are over represented in the unemployed category, lesser educated witnessed reduced job opportunities and Women were worse off than men with high levels of unemployment and reduced labour force participation.”

Releasing such report during elections is a huge setback to the government giving strength to the opposition parties to attack the incumbent.

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