DIMENSIONS OF UNEMPLOYMENT:
What is the level of unemployment in the country? According to the 1999-2000 Survey of NSSO, the number of unemployed has increased from 20.13 million in 1993-94 to 26.58 million in 1999-2000. Consequently, the unemployment rate as percentage of labour force increased from 5.99 per cent in 1993-94 to 7.32 per cent in 1999-2000. The trend and structure of unemployment can be summarised as below:
The incidence of unemployment has been much higher in urban areas than in rural areas. The open unemployment rate (CDS basis) in urban areas was 7.7 per cent in 1999-2000 against 7.2 per cent in rural areas.
Unemployment rates for women are higher than those for men. Female unemployment rates are significantly higher in urban areas at 9.8 per cent as compared to male unemployment at 7.2 per cent in 1999-2000. Unemployment rate is significantly higher among youth in the age-group of 15-29.
The youth unemployment rate measured in terms of CDS was of the order of 12.1 per cent for India in 1999-2000 (15.5 per cent for urban areas and 11.0 per cent for rural areas) as against 7.2 per cent for the population as a whole. The increase in the youth unemployment rate from 15 per cent in 1993-94 to 15.5 per cent in 1999-2000 in urban areas and from 8.6 per cent in 1993-94 to 11.0 per cent in 1999-2000 is a issue of concern. This reflects the failure of the reform process to create enough jobs to absorb the new entrants in the age group of 15-29 years.
Very high rate of unemployment is observed among the educated youth. Unemployment among educated youth was 18.5 per cent in 1993-94 (20.8 per cent in urban areas and 17.0 per cent in rural areas) and slightly declined to 14.8 per cent in 1999-2000 (18.3 per cent in urban and 12.5 per cent in rural areas). Thus, level of unemployment among the youth continues to be high.
The incidence of unemployment among the educated youth who have attained technical education was much higher at 27.3 per cent in 1993-94. It slightly declined to 23.7 per cent in 1999-2000. This reflects the lower absorption capacity of the economy to provide jobs to technically educated manpower. Hence, enlargement of job opportunities commensurate with the vocationalisation of education is highly needed.