More jobs than ever in India but only in some sectors and only for the educated
Two related news items caught my eye recently. First the positive news.
Our employment scenario continues to looks good despite a slight slowdown in the economy this year. A survey conducted by an Ma Foi, one of India’s largest HR consultancy firm has predicted that there will be a 3 percent increase in the number of jobs created as compared to last year and the total number of new jobs is estimated to be about 1 million. The HR consultancy firm’s 2008 METS Report surveyed over 2000 units across 22 different sectors (as of December 2007) to find out employment trends for 2008.
This is in keeping with trends over the last several years which show that India has beaten the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in creating the maximum number of jobs over the past several years (from 2000 to 2005 )…probably because we started from a low growth base.
SUMMARY TRENDS OF THE SURVEY SECTOR-WISE, plus additional information:
- Hospitality: 426,668 jobs and demand for freshers above 30 per cent
- Health: 295,829 jobs (growth of 8.9 percent). The Rs 750 billion sector itself is expected to grow by 170 per cent by 2012.
- Education Training and Consultancy: 166,005 jobs
- Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology-enabled Services (ITES): 7.3 and 7.2 per cent growth in recruitment respectively and out of this the demand for freshers will be above 30 per cent. Total number of software and IT service jobs will increase by half a million from 1.5 million to 2 million. The total BPO market will directly employ approximately 2.3 million people and provide indirect employment to another 6.5 million by 2010.
- Energy Generation and Supply: Not as many new jobs but demand for freshers above 30 per cent. This sector has the highest average salary increase (16.8 per cent).
- Mining and Extraction: Again not as many jobs as the other industries, but the demand for freshers will be above 30 per cent.
- Media and Entertainment: A Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) report says that the Rs.500 billion industry will see cumulative growth at 18 percent in the next 5 years.
Mumbai will generate the maximum jobs followed by Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
Great news for those fresh out of college and also good news for those who live in Mumbai and Delhi.
The other side
However, another recent survey, this time conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has shown that more than 30 percent of the Indian youth is illiterate and will be left out of this employment boom. The survey, “Educational Attainment of Youth and Implications for Indian Labour Market” was conducted in 593 districts all over India and conducted by Bino Paul GD, an associate professor at TISS. Paul says:
The demographic dividend that our Prime Minister spoke about last year may actually be a mirage.
As expected, there is a wide variation in the different districts in the country. For example in about 27 districts shockingly, as many as two thirds of the youth are illiterate and in others (182 districts) it ranges from one third to half. And again no surprise that the female illiteracy rate is nearly double than the male illiteracy rates and more rural youth are uneducated as compared to urban youth.
What’s even more disturbing is that many of the so-called ‘literate’ youngsters study only till the 4th to the 7th grade. Clearly even these youngsters will not be able to get high paying jobs or perhaps no jobs at all if they have no communication skills. Over half of the country’s GDP comes from the service sector, and without communication skills there is no hope of getting a job.
Kerala shines amongst the states as almost all youngsters continued to study after primary school.
As Prof. Paul says:
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Center’s flagship programme to universalize education, was not spread out evenly across the country and did not foster a thirst for life-long learning.
How do we marry these two separate reports, one which talks of an employment boom and the other of unemployment?
We can’t. There will continue to be a dire shortage of people in many industries and the urban educated will continue to improve their economic status. They will be able to switch jobs and have to worry less about getting a job after completing their education. On the other hand, the have-nots will continue to swell unless the districts with a dismal record of literacy pull up their socks. What is sadder is that this will lead to uneven development in different parts of India and could have serious social repercussions.
(Photos by me)
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