Five charts that explain India’s employment challenges

India’s low unemployment rate masks profound challenges it faces in providing regular jobs to a steadily growing workforce


Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

As is typical of developing nations, most working-age people in India cannot afford to be unemployed. Hence, India’s official unemployment rate is quite low at 2.7%. But the low unemployment rate masks profound challenges the country faces in providing regular jobs to a steadily growing workforce. Roughly nine out of 10 workers are informally employed and lack any social protection. Most workers lack adequate education or skills: less than 30% of the workforce has completed secondary education, and less than a tenth has had any vocational training. The educated youth faces high unemployment rates. Since quality formal employment is rare in India, access to regular jobs is highly unequal among social groups, and across regions. The five charts below explain the key employment challenges the country faces.

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