ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

EmploymentSubscribe to Employment

Informal Sector in India

Reviewing the vast literature on the informal sector in India, it is seen that competition, or lack of it, happens to be a crucial issue in analysing firm structure, market structure, and firm dynamics. The probable role of intra- and extra-firm collaboration in this context is largely under-researched
and is explored in this article.

How Has MGNREGA Fared?

Inclusive Development through Guaranteed Employment: India’s MGNREGA Experiences by Ashok Pankaj, Singapore: Springer, 2023; pp 313, $99.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act: Lessons from Odisha

Over the last 18 years, state governments ruled by different political parties across the political spectrum have attempted to expand the scope and vision of MGNREGA. But the case of Odisha stands out in the country in providing additional 200 days of work on and above the mandatory 100 days of work under MGNREGA and bearing the financial burden to pay the additional cost for MGNREGA workers on par with the wage for unskilled workers in the state. In this article, we analyse the implications of the Odisha government’s above decision on the income and employment opportunities for the most distressed communities in four districts and compare them with other districts of Odisha to suggest the need for such a progressive decision in other distressed districts in the country.

The Role of Gender and Caste in Accessing Livelihood Opportunities in India

Against the backdrop of low and declining female labour force participation in India, we use a large, publicly available tehsil-level data set for several Indian states to comment on women’s barriers to accessing livelihood opportunities. Data from the socio-economic caste census seems to indicate that as the proportion of lower-caste households in a tehsil increases, the participation of female heads of households in economic activities, which improve labour force participation at the bottom of the pyramid, also increases. This is significant given the largely informal labour force and inadequate job creation in the formal economy. Lower-caste women may readily pursue informal livelihoods suggesting barriers for upper-caste women, crucial amid limited formal job opportunities in an economy dominated by informality.

Aspirations, Agency, and Frustrated Freedom among Muslim ‘Middle-class’ Youth in Jamia Nagar

The neo-liberal discourse has raised the aspirations of Indian youth for professional employment, making them believe that they are agents who can usher positive changes in their lives. The functioning of opportunity structures, however, remains weak for many, making the process of attaining aspirations arduous. Scholars have termed this as frustrated freedom. This paper engages with the concept of frustrated freedom through the narratives around employment-based aspirations and choices of Muslim youth living in the Jamia Nagar neighbourhood of Delhi. The paper discusses the critical role of social networks and embeddedness in shaping the experiences of frustrated freedom among the Muslim youth, arguing that these networks mitigate frustrated freedom at the level of aspirations, whereas at the stage of employment, these networks remain somewhat ambiguous.

Youth Employment in India

India is set to add about one-fifth of incremental global youth population in the next two decades. This relative “greening” of India’s population and workforce is expected to bring down dependency ratio, increase savings rate and investment ratios, boost macroeconomic growth and yield a demographic dividend for the country, but this depends on whether the additional youth workforce finds remunerative and productive jobs. Examining the employment situation of the youth in India, we discover that labour force participation rate and work participation rate are declining, caused mainly by increased participation in education, but the increasing unemployment rate is worrisome.

Change in the Employment– Unemployment Situation

By taking into consideration five different panels with each one of them surveyed during four consecutive quarters covering the period most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of employment scenario, this article examines the change in the employment–unemployment situation of the same persons during the four consecutive quarters. The study is confined to urban India and uses the unit-level data collected through the Periodic Labour Force Survey.

Why Output Rises Faster than Employment in the Service Sector of India?

India’s exceptional growth pattern after the 1980s is attributed to the robust growth of the service sector. The growth pattern of services is not homogeneous and uniform.

Slowdown Dents the Quality of Employment

Increased dependence on agriculture and self-employment points to the growing deficit in decent work.

Political Aspects of ‘Freebies’

The attempts to disparate the state governments’ expenditure on subsidies by the votaries of the neo-liberal fiscal regime, do not stand the scrutiny of facts and reason. The use of terms like “freebies” and “revadi culture” is an assault by the state-capital nexus on the lives of millions of working people, by keeping them vulnerable in order to discipline them, as an integral part of the neo-liberal agenda.


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