Unemployment Crisis: 83% of Jobless Indians Are Youth, Reveals International Labour Organization

In a recent study conducted jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Institute for Human Development (IHD), concerning revelations have emerged regarding the alarming state of unemployment among India’s youth. The study, titled the India Employment Report 2024, shed light on a concerning trend: in 2022, a staggering 83% of the country’s total unemployed population comprised young individuals. Moreover, the share of educated youth among the jobless has shown a concerning increase, rising from 54% in 2000 to 66% in 2022.

The findings of the report underscored the deepening concentration of unemployment issues within India’s youth demographic, particularly among those who have pursued education, especially in urban areas. This shift highlights a pressing need for targeted interventions and policies to address the specific challenges faced by young job seekers.

Examining the employment landscape over the past two decades, the study revealed fluctuating trends, with employment and underemployment among youth witnessing a rise until 2019, followed by a decline during the Covid-19 pandemic years. The data also revealed shifts in the nature of employment, with a decrease in self-employment and casual jobs, alongside a rise in regular employment among youth.

Looking ahead, the report predicts a significant influx of youth into India’s labor force, with an estimated addition of 7-8 million individuals over the next decade. To confront this impending challenge, the study advocates for focused action across five key policy areas: promoting job creation, enhancing the quality of employment opportunities, addressing inequalities in the labor market, bolstering skills development initiatives, and filling knowledge gaps regarding labor market dynamics and youth employment patterns.

Despite the urgency of the situation, there are differing viewpoints on the role of government intervention. Chief Economic Advisor Nageswaran emphasized the importance of private sector involvement in job creation, suggesting a shift away from overreliance on governmental solutions. However, opposition leaders, including Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge, have criticized the Narendra Modi government for failing to adequately address the unemployment crisis highlighted in the report.

In essence, the India Employment Report 2024 paints a sobering picture of the unemployment challenges faced by the country’s youth population. As India grapples with the complexities of its evolving labor market, concerted efforts from both the public and private sectors will be crucial in devising effective strategies to tackle this pressing issue and unlock the potential of its burgeoning youth demographic.

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