APRIL 25, 2022
The majority of the Indian workforce has stopped looking for jobs, claims a report. Frustrated after not finding the ‘right opportunity, millions of Indians, especially women, have decided to exit the labor force or look for jobs.
India, which enjoys its status as a developing nation, now has a more significant challenge: Millions of individuals have stopped looking for work.
Between 2017 and 2022, the overall labor participation rate has reportedly dropped from 46% to 40%.
About 21 million disappeared from the workforce, leaving only 9% of the eligible population employed or looking for positions.
The Bloomberg report has been compiled after drawing excerpts from the new information from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economic system Pvt, a personal analysis agency in Mumbai.
The major problem that Indians face around job search is job creation. About two-thirds of the population between 15 and 64, competition for anything beyond menial labor is fierce.
According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, after the worrying statistics, India now needs to create at least 90 million new non-farm jobs by 2030. This would require an annual GDP growth of 8% to 8.5%.
Many Indians have repeatedly hinted at long work hours and stress as the primary reason they chose to quit the rat race.
These statistics also could threaten India’s developed-country status. Several economists have expressed their worries that, as a country, India may miss the window to reap a demographic dividend- hinting at ‘Indians may become older, but not richer.’
Why are people not looking for jobs anymore?
Now, more than half of the 900 million Indians of legal working age — roughly the population of the U.S. and Russia combined — don’t want a job, according to the CMIE.
Explanations for the drop in workforce participation throw light on different details. The report highlights that unemployed Indians are often students or homemakers.
Many of them survive on rental income, the pensions of elderly household members, or government transfers. Many are far behind in having marketable skill-sets.
For women, the reasons sometimes relate to safety or time-consuming responsibilities at home. Though they represent 49% of India’s population, women contribute only 18% of its economic output, about half the global average.
According to a recent report from the State Bank Of India, the government has tried to address the problem, including announcing plans to raise the minimum marriage age for women to 21 years. This could improve workforce participation by freeing women to pursue higher education and careers.
However, changing cultural expectations remains the most challenging part.