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More jobs than ever in India but only in some sectors and only for the educated

March 26, 2008

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.

The following information has been collected from these sources: [1], [2], [3], [4] and [5].

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 sideyouth_1_1.jpg
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:student3.jpg

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)

Related Reading: How will India cope with skill shortages?
Pay hikes in India highest in the world in 2007
Indian companies willing to hire talent from outside
Growth not leading to development in India
Is poverty declining in India?
The difference between rich and poor Indians

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2008 9:50 am

    I see India as the last great hope for civilization. The U.S/British/Israeli hegemonic imperialists seek to divide and conquer for their One World government (New World Order) aims. China and Russia are both corrupt super powers that hold humanity or spiritual conquest in low esteem. The 1 billion in India represent 1/6th of the World population and can offset our tainted path. Despite the class distinctions and Apartheid systems, a true universal consciousness will emerge charting the new path. You will be in the vanguard of the movement Nita. I will be following your direction and await orders for how to advance the movement in my country (U.S.).

  2. March 26, 2008 10:29 am

    india is amidst a major employment shortage…. most companies r unable to expand or even sustain their levels of operations because of the skilled labor is hard to get….

    and as u rightly pointed out the reason for this scarcity is because India has not sufficiently focussed on education and development of human capital

  3. March 26, 2008 11:45 am

    If you hadn’t written a post today, I would have been worried. I was about to ask, where have you been. Glad to have you back. 🙂

    As for job, I think we can create lot of jobs using our resources. For example, courts routinely say they are understaffed. IF only we had more courts, we could have more lawyers and judges. So many go unemployed. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan did not reach all sections of society because there was an untrained, under-staffed resources. More trained teachers could have made this success. I would not believe if someone tells me that my country doesn’t have a good supply of lawyers and teachers.

  4. March 26, 2008 1:45 pm

    Johnny, thanks for your response.

    Ankur, true, and I am sure that growth rates will get affected.

    Poonam, Thanks for remembering me! I was away for a week or so, came back yesterday from a very exhausting holiday! Who says holidays are relaxing! 🙂 Well, I’ll be writing about it tomorrow.
    About the teachers and lawyers, I think the shortage will be more in the rural areas Poonam.

  5. axinia permalink
    March 26, 2008 4:18 pm

    Interesting post, Nita! Even i wanted to get a job in India – think that my qualification could be quite helpful : ) Unfortunately my friends mean I can never work in India due to my honest and straghitforward chanracter (because of heavy corruption and indirect communicataion style..) -pity, I would actually love to! If the Indians will manage to overcome the corruption, I will come :)))

    Axinia, everyone is not corrupt. 🙂 And the word corruption itself means by government officers and personnel. I am sure you won’t work for the government! 🙂 I am not saying that there is no dishonesty in the private sector but everyone is not dishonest and it is perfectly possible to work and do a good honest job if one is honest. I have worked in several organisations and did not directly come into contact with any dishonesty. It depends what type of organisation you work for, how professional it is, and also how higher up you are, how sensitive your post is etc. For example those in the Purchase depts tend to have more opportunities to be corrupt. It all depends on the job you do and how honest you yourself want to be. No one will force you to be dishonest. – Nita.

  6. robinhoodimschwartzwald permalink
    March 26, 2008 7:00 pm

    Hey Jonnypeepers there was no United States before circa 1780. So don’t blame us for the Corruption, Racism (Caste System), and Islam for the reason why the third world is the third world! I make no apologies for being free!

  7. axinia permalink
    March 26, 2008 8:39 pm

    Nita, that is a good news 🙂 I menat corruption is difficult when you want to get some papers done. As a foreginer one always needs more papers when the locals, that I know every well…
    Working and living in India is still very attractive to me 🙂

  8. March 26, 2008 10:16 pm

    I think India has a great potential at this stage but what I sometimes fear is that what would happen if another third world market appears which provides labour more cheaper and efficient than ours? The fall would be much more harder than that of America.
    But until then, lets enjoy the most of what we have. 🙂

  9. March 26, 2008 11:22 pm


    Thanks for this post.I have lots to say on this topic but I will limit them to the following points:

    1)For some reason or the other,there has been very little investment in education since Independence.This has to be corrected as soon as possible.Once India becomes a totally literate country,there can be no stopping us.

    2)State-funded schools are in a pathetic state in most states.I don’t see the private sector taking any interest in primary education at all.Only the governments can do it.

    3)As you mentioned,girls drop out of school earlier than boys.A simple way to check this trend would be to offer incentives to poor parents if they send their girls to school till the twelfth standard,like giving them certificates at the end of each year of schooling which could then be used to pay for the expenses of the next year in school.Incentives are a powerful tool to make people stay in school.

    4)From my personal experience,I have found that students from rural areas fare much better than their urban counterparts when it comes to academics and sports.The only thing they lack is soft skills.If colleges offer special soft skills training to rural students,they can even better their urban counterparts when it comes to securing jobs.

    5)I think we need to take jobs to the people in smaller towns and villages rather than bring people to the cities.It will solve most of the problems our country is facing today.

  10. March 26, 2008 11:47 pm

    Wow this is a great post and u have correctly highlighted many ills that need to be looked at seriously ,
    but i doubt anything much will happen, as there is no thinking or long term vision among politicians and decision makers

    raj ur comment is interesting , but state also restricts pvt higher education, solely due to politicians and their vested interests as most of them have their own akademi for engineering etc

    as ankur says there is a huge shortage of affordable and job oriented educational institutions
    add to that the cost incurred by the umc and rich to send their kids abroad for higher studies

  11. March 27, 2008 12:03 am

    out of sheer curiosity
    how man hours do u blog daily ?

  12. March 27, 2008 7:32 am

    Axinia, in that case you should consider coming to India. 🙂 You will have no problem with papers as you are Russian. Only Pakistanis have problems. 🙂 And where corruption is concerned, it is those foreign companies who want to set up shop in India or who want to sell stuff to India who grease palms here, not normal foreigners. And when it comes to bribing, whether it’s companies from the U.S., U.K or Italy, they all bribe… 🙂 So I would hold them at least 10 percent responsible.

    Amit, China is a constant threat and they could completely squash us. But no one else, not unless the reproduce faster than Indians! 🙂

    Raj thanks for the holistic comment. Yes you are right, rural boys and girls are extremely smart, but simply lack polish. And I agree that jobs need to be created in rural areas. the problem is lack of infrastructure right now. In Maharashtra at least the power situation is dire. You are right no one took the education sector seriously at all, and let it go to seed, like the govt.let most of it’s public sector organisation bleed.

    Prax, well, I am optimistic that something will happen. At least the awareness is there now. About blogging, it all depends.At times it’s just an hour, at times 2-3 hours and at times zero! So far at least I am enjoying it, although when I get nasty comments I wonder if it is all worth it. But whenever I get an appreciative comment, I feel it’s all worth it!

  13. March 27, 2008 5:50 pm

    well most people from my college went for MS or PHd on scholarship and need not necessarily were the richest of the kind….
    and those who went for a US MBA took huge personal loans of the tune of 50L (and not parental support)
    but ya they do realize that good education is the best investment of both money and time

  14. March 27, 2008 7:43 pm

    There really needs to be some sort of a program to pull up the youth from the rural areas, else there is no point. I know that it’s not so easy to do this. In fact, most of India’s struggle is to do with the small towns and with the people near or a little above the poverty line. Giving them better opportunities to grow and learn is extremely important. But Nita…you know the funny thing? I always hear reports that students from the rural areas do better during Board exams. But after that, sadly, we hardly ever hear about them. I’ll hope that a larger % of the rural population avails these job opportunities and styles itself accordingly.

    Ruhi, I think they lack communication skills and therefore fail to make the grade when it comes to decent jobs. Without soft skills today you can’t get anywhere. Sadly, they don’t seem to realise the importance of it either. I was teaching some really bright children from the poor areas some communication skills in English, but they were more interested in getting 20/20 in their tests and kept clamouring for me to take “questions and answers” from their schools texts. I don’t blame the children, for them success is measured in terms of marks. For us, the communication skills come naturally because of our environment. – Nita.

  15. Yuva permalink
    March 30, 2008 2:28 pm

    step at a time… but my various its most in big cities.. these forcing people to move which also can be fine.. if infrastructure is built for that… and small town tier-2/3 cities student will start with disadvantage.. anyways over time like IT these jobs will also move to other cities..

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