Here we will look at two developmental indicators-growth of employment and GDP. Fifty years of planned development have been aimed at expansion of the economy through increase in national product and employment. During the period 1960-2000, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India grew positively and was higher than the employment growth. However, there was always fluctuation in the growth of GDP. During this period, employment grew at a stable rate of about 2 per cent. In the late 1990s: employment growth started declining and reached the level of growth that India had in the early stages of planning. During these years, we also find a widening gap between the growth of GDP and employment. His means that in the Indian economy, without generating employment, we have been able to produce more goods and services. Scholars refer to this phenomenon as jobless growth.
We have seen how employment has grown in comparison to GDP. Now it is necessary to know how the growth pattern of employment and GDP affected different sections of workforce. From this we will also be able to understand what types of employment are generated in our country. Distribution of workforce by industrial sectors shows substantial shift from work to non-farm work. In 1972-73, about 74 per cent of workforce was engaged in primary sector and in 1999-2000, this proportion has declined to 60 per cent. Secondary and service sectors are showing promising future for the Indian workforce. You may notice that the shares of these sectors have increased from 11 to 16 per cent and 15 to 24 per cent respectively. The distribution of workforce in different status indicates that over the last three decades (1972-2000), people have moved from self-employment and regular salaried employment to casual wage work. Yet self-employment continues to be the major employment provider. Scholars call this process of moving from self-employment and regular salaried employment to casual wage work as casualisation of workforce. This makes the workers highly vulnerable.
INFORMALISATION OF INDIAN WORKFORCE
One of the objectives of development planning in India, since India's independence, has been to provide decent livelihood to its people. It has been envisaged that the industrialization strategy would bring surplus workers from agriculture to industry with better standard of living as in developed countries. We have seen in the preceding section, that even after 55 years of planned development, three-fifth of India workforce depends on farming as the major source of livelihood.
Economics argue that, over the years, the quality of employment has been deteriorating. Even after working for more than 10-20 years, why do some workers not get maternity benefit, provident fund, gratuity and pension? Why does a person working in the private sector get a lower salary as compared to another person doing the same work but in the public sector? A small section of Indian workforce is getting regular income. The government, through its labour laws, protects them in various ways. This section of the workforce forms trade unions, bargains with employers for better wages and other social security measures. Who are they? To know this we classify workforce into two categories: workers in formal sectors, which are also referred to as organized and unorganized sectors. All the public sector establishments and those private sector establishments which employ 10 hired workers or more are called formal sector establishments and those who work in such establishments are formal sector workers. All other enterprises and workers working in those enterprises form the informal sector. Thus, informal sector includes millions of farmers, agricultural labourers, owners of small enterprises and people working in those enterprises as also the self-employed who do not have any hired workers.
Those who are working in the formal sector enjoy social security benefits. They earn more than those in the informal sector. Developmental planning envisaged that as the economy grows, more and more workers would become-formal sector workers and the proportion of workers engaged in the informal sector would dwindle. But what has happened in India? 93 per cent are in the informal sector. Out of 28 million formal sector workers, only 4.8 million, that is, only 17 per cent (4.8/28x100) are women. In the informal sector, male workers account for 69 per cent of the workforce.
Since the late 1970s, many developing countries, including India, started paying attention to enterprises and workers in the informal sector do not get regular income; they do not have any protection or regulation from the government. Workers are dismissed without any compensation. Technology used in the informal sector enterprises in outdated. Of late, owing to the efforts of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Indian government has initiated the modernization of informal sector enterprises and provision of social security measures to informal sector workers.
It might have seen people looking for jobs in newspapers. Some look for a job through friends and relatives. In many cities, you might find people standing in some select areas looking for people to employ them for that's work. Some go to factories and offices and give their bio-data and ask whether there is any vacancy in their factory and office. Many in the rural areas do not go out and ask for a job but stay home when there is no work. Some go to employment exchanges and register themselves for vacancies notified through employment exchanges. NSSO defines unemployment as a situation in which all those who, owning to lack of work, are not working but either seek work through employment exchanges, intermediaries, friends or relatives or by making applications to prospective employers or express their willingness or availability for work under the prevailing condition of work and remuneration. There are a variety of ways by which an unemployed person is identified. Economists define unemployed person as one who in not able to get employment of even one hour in half a day.
There are three sources of data on unemployment: Repots of Census of India, National Sample Survey Organization's Reports of Employment and Unemployment Situation and Directorate General of Employment and Training Data of Registration with Employment Exchanges. Through they provide different estimates of unemployment, they do provide us with the attributes of the unemployed and variety of unemployment prevailing in our country.
Do we have different types of unemploy-ment in our economy? Economists call unemployment prevailing in Indian farms as disguised unemployment. What is disguised unemployment? Suppose a farmer has four acres of land and he actually needs only two workers and himself to carry out various operations on his farm in a year, but if he employs five workers and his family members such as his wife and children, this situation is known as disguised unemployment. One study conducted in the late 1950s showed about one third of agriculture workers in India as disguisedly unemployment in India.
We have noticed that many people migrate to an urban area, pick up a job and stay there for some time, but come back to their home villages as soon as the rainy season begins. Why do they do so? This is because work in agriculture is seasonal; there are no employment opportunities in the village for all months in the year. When there is no work to do on farms, men go to urban areas and look for jobs. This kind of unemployment is known as seasonal unemployment. This is also a common form of unemployment prevailing in India. Though we have witnessed slow growth of employment, scholars says that in India, people cannot remain completely unemployed for very long because their because their desperate economic condition would not allow them to be so. You will rather find them being forced to accept jobs that nobody else would do, unpleasant or even dangerous jobs in unclean, unhealthy surroundings. The government has taken many initiatives to generate acceptable employment, ensuring at least minimal safety and job satisfaction, through various measures.
GOVERNMENTAND EMPLOYMENT GENERATION
Recently the government passed an Act in Parliament known as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005. It promises 100 days of guaranteed wage employment to all adult members of rural households who volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
The families, which are living below poverty line, will be covered under the scheme. This scheme is one of the many measures that the government implements to generate employment for those who are in need of jobs in rural areas. Since independence, the Union and state governments have played an important role in generating employment or creating opportunities for employment generation. Their efforts can be broadly categorised into two - direct and indirect. In the first category, government employs people in various departments for administrative purposes. It also runs industries, hotels and transport companies and hence provides employment directly to workers.
When output of goods and services from government enterprises increases, then private enterprises that supply materials to government enterprises will also raise their output and hence increase the number of employment opportunities in the economy. For example, when a government owned steel company increases its output, it will result in direct increase in that government company. Simultaneously, private companies, which supply inputs to the government steel company and purchase steel from it, will also increase their output and thus employment. This is the indirect generation of employment opportu-nities in the economy.
Many programmes that the government implements, aimed at alleviating poverty, are through employment generation. They are also known as employment generation programmes. All these programmes aim at providing not only employment but also services in areas such as primary health, primary education, rural shelter, rural drinking water, nutrition, assistance for people to buy income and employment generating assets, develop-ment of community assets by generating wage employment, construction of houses and sanitation, assistance for constructing houses, laying of rural roads, development of wastelands /degrade lands.
There has been a change in the structure of workforce in India. Newly emerging jobs are found mostly in the service sector. The expansion of the service sector and the advent of high technology now frequently permit a highly competitive existence for efficient small scale and often individual enterprises or specialist workers side by side with the multinationals. Outsourcing of work is becoming a common practice. It means that a big firm finds it profitable to close down some of its specialist departments (for example, legal or computer programming or customer service sections) and hand over a large number of small piecemeal jobs to very small enterprises or specialist individuals, sometimes situated even in other countries. The traditional notion of the modern factory or office, as a result, has been altering in such a manner that for many the home is becoming the workplace. All of this change has not gone in favour of the individual worker. The nature of employment has become more informal with only limited availabity of social security measures to the workers. Moreover, in the last two decade, there has been rapid growth in the gross domestic product, but without simultaneous increase in employment opportunities. This has forced the government to take up initiatives in generating employment opportunities particularly in the rural areas.