Thursday, July 2, 2009

Unemployment rate to fall below 5% by 2012

Despite the severe meltdown in global economy and consequent job losses in India since September last year, the Economic Survey has exuded optimism that there would be reduction in unemployment rate by the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12).

According to the Survey, it is projected that the total labour force in the country between 2007 and 2012 would be 45 million as against 58 million employment opportunities that would be created in the country during the Eleventh Five Year Plan. This would be greater than the projected increase in labour force leading to a reduction in the unemployment rate to below 5% by the terminal year of the plan, it says.

This comes close on the heels of a survey by the ministry of labour and employment that says there was a decrease in employment of about half a million workers between October and December last year. Gems and jewellery was the worst effected sector with 8.58% decline in employment followed by transport that registered a dip of 4.03%, automobiles where employment declined by 2.42% and textiles where 0.91% of workers lost their jobs.

While large number of measures has already been taken by the government to help the industry in general and more affected labour intensive export sectors in particular since October last year, the Economic Survey has emphasised on programmes to boost pro-poor public investment in physical and social infrastructure, programmes and schemes that protect and promote incomes of the poor and expansion in scope and coverage of social security schemes for the unorganized workers so that they were immediately assured of a minimum level of social protection.

It was in the interim Budget of February 16, 2009, that the government had announced continuation of interest subvention of 2% on pre- and post shipment credit for most employment-oriented sectors such as textiles, carpets, leather, gems and jewellery, marine products and SMEs beyond March 31, 2009 till September 30, 2009.

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