ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Turnaround in India's Employment Story

Creation of decent jobs outside agriculture is one of the biggest challenges that confront policymakers trying to achieve "faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth". The Indian economy grew at unprecedented rates during the Tenth (2002-07) and Eleventh (2007-12) Five-Year Plan periods, but it has been characterised by jobless growth and informalisation of jobs in the organised sector between 2004-05 and 2009-10. However, findings from the latest employment and unemployment survey of the National Sample Survey Office (2011-12) seem to suggest a reversal of joblessness with a significant increase in non-agricultural employment. The paper tries to assess the employment intensity of output growth through an examination of employment elasticity, and potential for employment generation during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

Creating Employment in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan

This paper analyses employment trends and addresses the problem of creating decent and productive employment in the non-agricultural sector during the first decade of the 21st century. Its primary interest is to examine the transition from informal employment in the unorganised sector towards formal employment in the non-agricultural organised sector. There has been a slight structural shift in employment away from agriculture towards the non-manufacturing sector. An interesting dimension about this transformation is the rising employment in enterprises employing 20 or more workers and a decline in employment in enterprises employing less than six workers. The second half of the decade (characterised by high growth rates) witnessed a decline in employment in the manufacturing sector, while there was stagnation in services sector employment. With the rise in participation in education (in particular female education), it is most likely that a larger number of educated youth, especially women, will be joining the labour force in future years, and given the fact that the highest open unemployment rate is among educated youth, this calls for more proactive policies towards employment creation in organised manufacturing and services sectors.

The NREGA, the Maoists and the Developmental Woes of the Indian State

The United Progressive Alliance government's much touted fl agship programme under the National Rural Employment Act is aimed at countering some of the developmental woes of the Indian state in the backward regions. The Maoists are active in some of the most backward areas and the government has been accusing them of stalling development. Hence, the current solution as operationalised by the government is to fl ush out the anti-developmentalists by force and then proceed with development. We examine these issues through a case study of the NREGA in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa. The districts chosen were from the fi rst 200 where the NREGA has been implemented from 2006 onwards and are also under the infl uence of the Maoists.
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