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Arvind Panagariya. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Arvind Panagariya. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

A global problem

Across major economies, unemployment and the attendant political and social fallout are in the spotlight

The Indian government’s employment focus is clear. It is a prime factor in a number of initiatives such as Make in India. The latest move to set up a task force under NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya for tackling the problem of accurate and timely jobs data is a continuation of this focus.

In Europe, meanwhile, a European Central Bank study shows that the euro zone labour market—where unemployment statistics are based on narrow definitions—is actually in far worse shape than believed. The paper’s measure of “slack", which uses broader definitions, stands at almost twice the official unemployment rate of 9.5%. And in China as well, unemployment rates are widely believed by analysts to be far higher than official statistics show, as well as inextricably tied up with China’s overcapacity problem.

Across major economies, unemployment and the attendant political and social fallout are in the spotlight. The financial crisis’s lingering aftershocks and increasing automation have combined to pose tough questions. The answers will be crucial.

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