Young Indians more likely to be unemployed if educated: ILO

In India, highly educated youth are more likely to be unemployed than those with no education, according to International Labor Organization.

Unemployment among graduates was 29.1%, almost six times higher than the 3.4% of those who could not read or write, according to the new ILO. report on the labor market in India showed. The unemployment rate for young people with a college or higher education was six times higher at 18.4%.

“Unemployment in India was a major problem among young people, especially young people with higher or higher education, and it increased over time,” the ILO said.

These figures show a huge mismatch between the skills of the workforce and the jobs being created in the market. It also emphasizes warnings and prominent economists like former central bank Governor Raghuram Rajan that India’s lack of education will undermine its economic prospects in the long run.

“India’s youth unemployment rate is now higher than the global average,” the ILO said. “India’s economy has not been able to create enough paying jobs in the non-farm sector for young entrants, which is reflected in rising unemployment rates.”

In China, unemployment rate among 16-24 year olds to climb up to 15.3% in the first two months of the year, almost three times higher than the 5.3% rate for the urban population.

While the share of unemployed young Indians – aged 15-29 – fell to 82.9% in 2022 from 88.6% in 2000, the share of educated youth rose to 65.7% from 54.2% at that time, ILO figures show.

Women are more affected. They accounted for 76.7% of uneducated youth who are unemployed compared to 62.2% of men, statistics show. Unemployment was also higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

India has the lowest percentage of female workers in the world, at around 25%, the ILO said. The rate improved during the pandemic after a “significant increase” in fundraising activities, it said.

The report also warned of the rise of so-called gig jobs, or temporary and low-cost jobs, such as food delivery drivers. Digital platforms have blurred the divide between workers and the self-employed, making it difficult to maintain a healthy and productive workforce, the ILO said.

– Courtesy of Swati Gupta

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