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Four charts and a table: more proof of India’s job crisis

By Nupur Anand

It’s been a tough year for India’s jobs market.

Between January and April alone, some 1.5 million jobs were lost, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, partly as a result of the demonetisation of high-value notes last November. Then, the goods and services tax, which kicked in from July 2017, sucked whatever little life was left out of the market, especially among small and medium businesses. 

However, even when the economy was growing at a faster clip, the job market just wasn’t responding, a report by domestic rating agency CARE Ratings shows. Here’s a table to illustrate the divergence between employment and GDP growth.

Total employed (in million) GDP growth (in %)
2013 3.85 5.5
2014 3.87 6.5
2015 3.80 7.2
2016 3.87 8
2017 3.92 7.1

These tepid numbers are a far cry from what Narendra Modi had promised in the run up to his election as prime minister in 2014: that his government would add 10 million jobs. Instead, job creation under Modi has been at an eight-year low.

In a country expected to add over 280 million people to the job market by 2050, that ought to set off alarm bells. 

A closer look at the data for 2017 reveals that a handful of sectors have helped the job market grow, while large employers such as telecom and real estate struggled.

Meanwhile, the rate of salary growth has also slowed down. In 2017,  average salaries grew at 8.36%, compared to 11.85% in the previous financial year. But where’s the most salary growth? In the resources sector. In contrast, the retail sector, also a major employer, saw the sharpest drop in salaries in the country.