A recent study conducted by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed that 405 million people have been employed in May-August 2019 period in India, which is 2.5 million more than the same period last year.
Mahesh Vyas, MD and CEO of CMIE, spoke at length about which sectors have seen higher employment and which have lagged behind.
“This is the stock of jobs in the country. In India, we have a population of more than a billion; 405 million people are employed. So about half the population is employed. Most of these are informal jobs in small scale sector and agriculture and not the kind of jobs that people would like to be in, such as IT companies or government jobs or private sector big company jobs – that’s a very small proportion of this,” he said.
According to Vyas, the year 2018 witnessed a loss of about 10 million jobs, thanks to the combined effect of demonetisation and goods and services tax. "We were at 411 million at one time. We came down to 401 million and now we are back to 405 million,” he pointed out.
The survey is based on 175,000 households, or around 700,000 people. So this is a fairly large sample from across the country, from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, from Assam to Gujarat, it covers everything,” he further said.
More than 8 million jobs have been in the agriculture sector, which is seen as an indication of stress as jobs in manufacturing declined by nearly a million, jobs in IT and financial sector also declined and 2.2 million jobs were lost in construction. There is contraction in many areas. Construction is the first place where agricultural labourers migrate to, but when this contracts those workers go back to the farmlands.
“The services sector has seen some job increase but IT and financial sectors shed jobs. The problem in the services sector is the retail trade segment which is the biggest accretion of job sector and that rate of accretion has shrunk substantially. So although jobs are increasing over there, that rate of increase has shrunk substantially. So retail trade is not absorbing as many people as it used to absorb in the preceding surveys that we have done,” he added.
Vyas said the survey result is not a positive news. "It is good to put a headline saying 2.5 million more jobs are added but these are not the kind of jobs that we should be adding. We should be worried about people going back to farmlands and that’s not where we want them to go. We want them to come out of there and get into better jobs,” he stated.