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Business News/ Economy / India's youth unemployment rate among highest in world, says ex-CEA; Netizens call it ‘heights of propaganda'

India's youth unemployment rate among highest in world, says ex-CEA; Netizens call it ‘heights of propaganda'

  • Dr Kaushik Basu said the latest data from the CMIE - a think tank - showed India's youth unemployment rate had reached the alarming level of 45.4 per cent — among the highest in the world.

Dr. Kaushik Basu, former chief economic adviser at a press conference in New Delhi. Picture by Ramesh Pathania

Former Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Dr Kaushik Basu on Wednesday, May 29, claimed that India's youth unemployment rate is among the highest in the world and also urged the government to take corrective measures to deal with the grave issue. He said the latest data from the CMIE - a think tank - showed India's youth unemployment rate had reached the alarming level of 45.4 per cent — among the highest in the world.

Also Read: Unemployment rate in India doubles among educated youth: Former CEA Kaushik Basu says, ‘Change is coming’

Dr Basu took to microblogging platform ‘X’ and said, ‘’Latest data from India’s CMIE shows India’s youth unemployment rate has reached the alarming level of 45.4 per cent—among the highest in the world. This is doing deep damage. For the sake of the country we must not hide behind slogans, must put politics aside & take corrective measures.''

The ex-CEA, who now teaches economics at Cornell University, stated that the rising unemployment is doing ‘’deep damage''. Basu's post attracted a flurry of comments by social media users including professionals and economists who contested the data and asked the economist to 'stop misleading'.

A senior technocrat and software engineer, cited the same data and said 45 per cent unemployment is for the age group of 20-24. "And for age 30 and above, it's only two per cent. As per the same report you are quoting. Heights of propaganda."

Also Read: Unemployment crisis: 83% of jobless Indians are youth, says International Labour Organisation Report

Swathi Bellam, another social media user, said unemployment is 45 per cent for the 20-24 age group where most of the people are still studying. "It is a mere two per cent for above 30. So it means after education, most of them get a job," said Bellam

Padmaja, another user, asked Basu to "stop misleading by publishing half-truths". "You are positioning it as if 45.4 per cent of all youth are unemployed. There is a huge difference. Stop this!".

‘’The unemployment rate witnessed a sharp decrease in January 2024. According to the latest data from the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think-tank, the unemployment rate in India stood at 6.8 per cent in January. The unemployment rate in India saw a decrease of 1.9 per cent in a month, as it stood at 8.7 per cent in December last year. The Lowest in 16 months. Out of this unemployment in the youth aged between 20 and 24 increased to 44.49 per cent, which was 43.65 per cent in the July-September quarter,'' said Padmaja.

Also Read: Urban unemployment rises in Q4, but more women join the workforce

Dr Subroto Roy, an economist hit back at Basu's statement and asked: "Are you serious Kaushik? Have you asked what exactly is being measured or attempted to be measured? is there any movement in wages? did you look to see? never too old to learn."

‘’The way to test for full employment in India is by looking at wage movements both real and nominal…if you cannot get a vacancy filled without raising at least nominal wages, there's probably full employment in that skill, ie the market is clearing nicely enough...,'' added Dr Roy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nikita Prasad

Nikita covers business news and has been producing news on digital platforms since 2018. She writes on economy, policy, markets, commodities, industry. Her core areas of interests include infrastructure, energy, oil and gas, railways, and transport/mobility. She has worked for business news channels like Moneycontrol, NDTV Profit, and Financial Express in the past. If you have story ideas/pitches/reports or quotes/views to share, reach her at nikita.prasad@htdigital.in.
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