ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Employment and Poverty in India during the 1990s

In an otherwise win-win situation of increasing growth and declining poverty in the 1990s, the phenomenon of jobless growth has been disquieting as well as puzzling. This study focuses on the observed inverse relation between poverty and unemployment, which holds both at the aggregate level as also at various cross-sections. The jobless growth of the 1990s, in general, and more so for agriculture, arguably contained the extent of underemployment and contributed to declining poverty. Continuing employment generation in the unorganised sector, albeit at a decelerated pace, coupled with increasing productivity also played a role. While there has been increasing casualisation of employment, the real wage rate increased sharply amongst casual labourers in rural India, possibly as an offshoot of public employment programmes and declining general prices for agricultural/rural labourers. Interstate remittances, as also those from abroad, could have also made possible the emergent configuration of declining poverty, increasing unemployment and decelerated growth at the state level.

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