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By Tasneem Nafiss


Unemployment is a term referring to individuals who are employable and actively seeking a job but are unable to find a job. Included in this group are those people in the workforce who are working but do not have an appropriate job. Usually measured by the unemployment rate, which is dividing the number of unemployed people by the total number of people in the workforce, unemployment serves as one of the indicators of a country’s economic status.

In India, crores of people are unemployed and are suicide because of not getting any job some of the families are dying because of hunger, financial issues, and much more.

Understanding Unemployment

Unemployment is a key economic indicator because it signals the ability (or inability) of workers to obtain gainful work and contribute to the productive output of the economy. More unemployed workers mean less total economic production.

The unemployment definition doesn't include people who leave the workforce for reasons such as retirement, higher education, and disability.

The biggest concern of the Indian citizens is unemployment. A good bulk of India’s population is dependent on labour-market, either self-employment or working for others, as a major source of livelihood. And, challenges arising out of the market, for instance, employment has been a field of consideration in possibly every national plan since pre-independent era. A survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in 2019 revealed that 46% of the issues are due to unemployment followed by criminal offenses and violence at 37%, commercial and political corruption at 34%, terrorism at 29%, and poverty and social injustice at 28%. The shortage of capital with respect to the necessity of the uprising population is a major cause of unemployment in underdeveloped and developing countries like India. Another major ground behind the sluggish increase in employment is the utilization of monetary-based techniques where labour-inclusive techniques are available.

Causes of unemployment in India

The Caste System

  • The caste system, a structure of social stratification that can potentially pervade virtually every aspect of life in India is a major factor in generating unemployment

  • In some locations, certain kinds of work are prohibited for members of particular castes. This also leads to the result that work is often given to members of a certain community, rather than to those who truly deserve the job and those who have the right skills

  • The result is higher levels of unemployment

Inadequate Economic Growth

  • Indian economy is underdeveloped and role of economic growth is inadequate

  • This slow growth fails to provide enough unemployment opportunities to the increasing population

  • This means that as the population increases, the economy cannot keep up with demands for employment and an increasing share of people are unable to find work. The result is insufficient levels of employment nationwide

Low Rates of Saving and Investment

  • India lacks sufficient capital across the board. Likewise, savings are low and the result is that investment—which depends on savings—is also low.

  • Were there higher rates of investment, new jobs would be created and the economy would have kick started.

  • Also, there is a lack of investment in rural areas and tier 2 and tier 3 cities as well, as a result of which there exists large untapped employment potential

Ineffective (or absent) Economic Planning

  • Problematically, there have been no nationwide plans to account for the significant gap between labor supply (which is abundant) and labor demand (which is notably lower)

  • the supply and demand of labor must be in balance, to ensure that those who need jobs can get them; otherwise, many individuals will compete for one job.

Labor Immobility

  • Culturally, attachment and maintenance of proximity to family is a major priority for many Indian citizens. The result is that people avoid traveling long distances from their families in pursuit of employment.

  • Additionally, language, religion, and climate can also contribute to low mobility of labor

  • As one might expect, when many of those who might otherwise be suited to jobs are unable to travel to reach them, unemployment is magnified

Job Specialization

Jobs in the capitalist world have become highly specialized, but India’s education system does not provide the right training and specialization needed for these jobs. Thus many people who are willing to work become unemployable due to lack of skills.

Lack of essential skilling

  • A study reveals that 33% of educated youth in India are unemployed due to a lack of future skills

  • Millions of students in our country even after finishing schooling, remain devoid of hands-on learning and robust practical knowledge.

What are the Impacts of Unemployment?

▪ The problem of unemployment gives rise to the problem of poverty.

▪ Young people, after a long time period of unemployment indulge in illegal and wrong activities for earning money. This also leads to an increase in crime in the country.

▪ Unemployed persons can easily be enticed by antisocial elements. This makes them lose faith in the democratic values of the country.

▪ It is often seen that unemployed people end up getting addicted to drugs and alcohol or attempting suicide, leading to losses to the human resources of the country.

▪ It also affects the economy of the country as the workforce that could have been gainfully employed to generate resources becomes dependent on the remaining working population, thus escalating socioeconomic costs for the State. For instance, 1% increase in unemployment reduces the GDP by 2%.

What are the Steps Taken by the Government?

Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP): was launched in 1980 to create full employment opportunities in rural areas.

Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM): This scheme was started in 1979 to help unemployed rural youth between the age of 18 and 35 years to acquire skills for self-employment. Priority was given to SC/ST Youth and Women.

RSETI/RUDSETI: To mitigate the unemployment problem among the youth, a new initiative was tried jointly by Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Educational Trust, Syndicate Bank, and Canara Bank in 1982 which was the setting up of the “Rural Development And Self Employment Training Institute” with its acronym RUDSETI near Dharmasthala in Karnataka. o Rural Self Employment Training Institutes/ RSETIs are now managed by Banks with active cooperation from the Government of India and the State Government.

Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY): By merging the two erstwhile wage employment programmes – National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) and Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) was started with effect from April 1, 1989, on 80:20 cost-sharing basis between the center and the States

Efforts to unemployment

In India, Articles 14 to 16, Article 19(1)(c), Articles 23 and 24, Article 38, and Articles 41 to 43A of the Constitution give attention to labor rights. Article 14 provides equality before the law, Article 15 prohibits any kind of discrimination against the citizens, and Article 16 provides an extension to the fundamental right of equal opportunity while employing or recruiting under the State Government. Article 19(1)(c) provides the citizens the right to form association. Article 23 restricts trafficking and forced labor, while Article 24 prohibits the employment of children under the age of 16 years in any factory, mine, or hazardous occupation.

Although, Article 38 and Articles 41 to 43A contained in Part IV of the Constitution are non-enforceable rights, but it shall be the duty of the states to implement these provisions. Article 38(1) makes it a duty of the state to promote the welfare of the people. Article 38(2) minimizes the inequalities in income in all other jobs. The National Rural Employment Guarantee 2005 attempts to implement Article 41 which provides the right to work. Article 42 obliges the state to take steps to secure better conditions for work and maternity relief. Article 43 provides that workers shall have the right to a standard of living. Article 43A requires the states to secure workers’ participation in various undertakings.

In the U.S. certain benefits are provided to unemployed workers in the form of insurance and other monetary aid which is mandatorily funded by the Government.


The unemployment rate in India inched higher to 7.45% in February 2023, taking the total number of unemployed in the country to 33 million. India needs to make dedicated efforts to decrease the number of unemployed people.

By following a comprehensive approach including skilling of people, better education, increased focus on labor-intensive sectors, etc. India will be able to decrease the unemployment rate substantially

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