The Economics of Unemployment

Unemployment, according to me is when a person is well-qualified and ready to work but is unable to get a job in the market. I have also observed that people try to get rid of this being-unemployed-syndrome by taking up jobs just to get employed or either start doing a course that will supplement their already acquired talent in a hope to get a job. Still others go for completely different things just to get rid of this syndrome to keep themselves and their minds occupied. And there are still some who get depressed and start losing faith in themselves. That doesn’t sound economics, right? Yes, this is just the social economics or I would say the economics of a human heart. So, let us come to the real economics.

Unemployment is a problem that has gripped not just under-developed and developing countries but also developed countries. Though the grip isn’t that strong in the latter’s case, it is more prominent as well as severe in the former. India which is the second most populous country in the world has huge manpower resources but this manpower is forced to sit idle at home. It should also be noted that this crisis hasn’t targeted a particular section of the society. It’s an all-encompassing phenomenon.

It’s a great challenge for the Indian economy as well as the government, economists, academicians, intellectuals and policy-makers at large. One of the main issues underlying this problem can be identified as our education system. Though not completely, but our education system needs to be revamped. It needs to be more focused on being job-oriented. The government should bring in stringent measures to put a check on the indiscriminately growing universities and colleges that have demeaned the value of higher education as a whole. It should only be available to those who deserve it.

It’s deeply saddening today to see how the majority of youth in India is unemployed and dejected. Manpower is not being tapped to its full potential and that is harming Indian the economy in a way. There is an urgent need to open up more vocational training institutes and institutes to impart technical knowledge. This alone won’t do any good as there is a simultaneous need to create more and more job opportunities for the same.

Some major features of unemployment that have been observed are listed below:

1. The incidence of unemployment is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas
2. Unemployment is found to be much higher amongst women as compared to men (that’s obviously due to discrimination of one sort or the other)
3. Unemployment is much higher among the educated than the overall unemployment
4. There is greater unemployment in agricultural sector than in industrial or other sectors (because of the seasonal character of the former)

Though there has been some good news on the economic front regarding employment trends but the number of unemployed people has also increased at the same time. Unorganized labour is another big issue and these people face many problems in India. According to International Labour Organization (ILO), “vulnerable population is often characterized by inadequate earnings, low productivity and difficult conditions of work that undermine workers’ fundamental rights.” It also found that in India informal employment is much higher than in any other equally poor countries and it is growing as a proportion of total employment. This issue also needs to be tackled thoughtfully and tough laws need to be made.

The disease of unemployment is itself a cause of many others like poverty, backwardness, increase in crime rate, dejection and depression among youth etc. This disease that is plaguing Indian society may require a lot of time to get eliminated but it’s not an impossible task if real efforts are made. It will not only boost up the economy but also bring back lost self-confidence of the younger generation and a renewed hope in their hearts which is still trying to comfort itself and saying  “aal izz well”!

Anumeha Saxena