New Delhi : In a new report on India’s labour market, the McKinsey Global Institute has focused on the concept of “gainful employment”, basically better work (or jobs) for India’s 460 million workforce that promise more money.
While repeatedly stressing the need for better, and more current jobs data in India, the report, titled India’s Labour Market: A new emphasis on gainful employment, highlights the structural shift from agriculture to the non-farm sector. Between 2011 and 2015, the number of agricultural jobs reduced by 26 million while the number of non-farm ones rose 33 million. This was especially driven by creation of jobs between 2013 and 2015. More current data isn’t available.
It’s a challenge that isn’t really captured by data because of some structural changes, the report adds. For instance, says the report, “declining labour force participation need not indicate a slowing growth in gainful employment” because more people could have stayed in the education system longer and fewer women may need to work because their families are now better off and do not need them to. Then, measuring both “employment” and gainful employment becomes tough in a country where 86% of the labour force is employed by the so-called informal sector. Nor do existing job surveys capture “economic and social mobility” which might give some indication on gainful employment, and “underlying labour market shifts” because Indian farm workers move “seamlessly” from farm-jobs to non-farm jobs at certain times of the year. Still, the report concludes, the shift away from agricultural jobs itself is a move towards gainful employment.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute report, the so-called gig economy (or increase in independent work opportunities available), government spending and the consequent creation of jobs, and increased entrepreneurial activity have created gainful employment for between 20 million and 26 million people between 2014 and 2017, the report says.
Of this, increased spending by the government alone has resulted in 2 million new jobs.