You are on page 1of 3



The Changing Face of Work in India

MUMBAI – A debate about job creation and employment is heating up in India, fueled by data that seem
to show the country is entering a period of jobless growth. Official statistics suggest that overall labor-
force participation declined between 2011 and 2015, with fewer than two million new jobs created

If those numbers were the whole story, then India, a country where 16 million people reach working age
every year, would be heading for economic trouble. There are two reasons to doubt that it is. First, the
Labor Bureau’s figures do not provide a full accounting of the country’s labor force; many of India’s 460
million workers, especially the self-employed, are simply uncounted in official surveys. Second, the data
fail to account for the quality of new jobs being created. As India’s labor market evolves in line with the
shift toward a non-agricultural economy, the creation of “gainful employment” – safer, higher-paid, and
more productive jobs – will be the true measure of economic health.

The dearth of timely, reliable data has long been an impediment to the analysis of trends in India’s labor
market. Current government statistics that rely on quarterly surveys do not provide a complete picture of
what is happening nationwide. For example, they track only those enterprises with more than ten
employees, which represent less than 2% of the national total – indicative of the low quality of work in
which the vast majority of Indians are engaged.

The bureau’s annual household survey covers a larger sample of workers, but the latest available datasets
are from 2014-2015. Moreover, the yearly samples can obscure key trends. For example, reporting only
the total number of jobs added in India from 2011 to 2015 – an increase of about seven million – misses
the shift from agriculture toward non-farm jobs in the construction, trade, and transport industries. In
fact, on close examination, the data show that agricultural employment shrunk by around 26 million jobs
from 2011 to 2015, while the number of non-farm jobs rose by 33 million.

While official surveys do suggest a falling labor-force participation rate, that conclusion needs further
testing, because such declines are not usually discernible over short periods. More important, declining

Even with growing investment in automation. India is in a position to capitalize. and taxes. One approach would be to introduce a quarterly employment survey with a much larger sample size. In India. Indians aspire to higher pay and safer. job search portals. gainful employment already is being stimulated across India. Given the current composition of India’s workforce. for example. or that more women from poor households are entering the middle class.labor-force participation may indicate that more young people are staying in school. these sectors have remained net job creators. especially in the digital economy. . Since 2014. often supported by government lending schemes. Government and the private sector could work together to shape and introduce many more targeted initiatives aimed at fostering gainful employment. and are forecast to add an additional three million workers by 2025 (although a shortage of employees with the necessary skills could hurt those projections). Good data are especially important for measuring “gainful employment. Independent work and micro-entrepreneurship are a third source of gainful employment. Opportunities for gainful employment are also coming from India’s information technology and business process outsourcing sectors. and working conditions. as elsewhere. e-commerce players. the government will need to remove hurdles that stand in the way of investment and innovation in certain higher-skill sectors. timely. and digital financial services – are providing new opportunities (especially for women. labor productivity. such as bolstering tourism and manufacturing Despite Modi’s “Make in India” initiative. labor-intensive manufacturing should be vigorously pursued. a significant increase in labor-intensive manufacturing is yet to be seen. earnings. sales revenue. and accurate analysis of trends. and at wages that are 70% higher than farm-related work. But at the same time. cleaner. tens of millions more are in need of opportunities. the potential of the demographic dividend is such that low-skill. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office recently established a task force that is seeking to achieve just that. it is essential that policymakers design and implement a system of labor- market assessment that enables more relevant. Fortunately. As India’s economy modernizes. Both would be welcome developments. in burgeoning self-help groups) to earn decent pay in parts of the country not typically considered strong labor markets. But. While some workers have benefited from the shift to non-farm employment. digital ecosystems – including cab-hailing companies. But much more needs to be done. These investments are also helping to accelerate the shift from agriculture to other sources of income in some of India’s poorest states. Data from this more comprehensive survey could then be validated using government figures on enterprises. The government’s increased spending on infrastructure and social services is creating new work opportunities for an estimated seven million workers.” which is defined by the type of work done by people already employed. as rising wages push some manufacturing jobs out of China. A new emphasis on gainful employment initiatives – and better statistics with which to measure their impact – would help Indians achieve their goals. and more stimulating jobs. these three sources of employment have created high-quality work opportunities for as many as 26 million Indians.

ejemplo portales de búsqueda de trabajo. impuestos. Si las cifras son reales. la vista está enfocada en turismo y manufactura. Ya se está trabajando para crear una encuesta que arroje y abarque una cifra más alta y que las fuentes de información sean varias. El análisis al que se llega es que existe una disminución de comunidad trabajando. Otra fuente de empleos proviene de la tecnología de la información negocio de subcontratación de los sectores. ingresos por ventas… Lo que se pretende es que India tenga un incremento en el porcentaje de trabajo remunerado. Existe otra fuente que se llama encuesta anual de hogares. El trabajo independiente y el microemprendimiento son una tercera fuente de empleo remunerado.Un debate sobre la creación de empleo y el empleo se está calentando en la India. con los datos de esta muestra que la ocupación en actividades agrícolas ha bajado e incrementado los no agrícolas. con menos de dos millones de nuevos empleos creados anualmente. este último no se ha visto incremento. Las estadísticas oficiales indican que la participación laboral total disminuyó entre 2011 y 2015. sin embargo existen algunos trabajadores que no participan en estas encuestas ni tampoco esta estadística habla de los nuevos empleos. sin embargo no está actualizada. la cual abarca un mayor número de población. . por lo que el gobierno está trabajando en esto lo que ha llevado a generar nuevos empleos. Esto conlleva a que no se logre realizar un análisis fiable y el mercado objetivo lo realiazan a empresas con mas de 10 empleados.El rostro cambiante del trabajo en la India MUMBAI . por lo general se crean con préstamos del gobierno. sin embargo se puede creer que no trabajan porque están estudiando o porque las mujeres pasan a otra clase social. será un gran problema. lo que se espera es que se realicen alianzas entre el gobierno y el sector privado para que se siga incrementado el trabajo renunerado. alimentado por datos que parecen mostrar que el país está entrando en un período de crecimiento sin empleo.