⁹Promising jobs is a constant in Indian elections, the parties and the leaders change but the promise to give employment to the largest growing younger age groups in the world remains. The two waves covid-19 pandemic has pushed the situation of unemployment which was at its worse to abysmal. The poll-bound states is analysed to understand the situation.
All the states heading for the assembly election: Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand has seen a rise in unemployment combined with inflation. In Uttarkhand, promises of lakhs of jobs are announced by all the parties. This is because nearly 50 per cent of voters in Uttarakhand are in the age group between 18-40 years. The employment rate which was at 40 per cent in 2016 has come down 30 per cent in 2021
In Uttar Pradesh Samajwadi Party leader, Akhilesh Yadav has promised 22 lakh jobs, especially in the I.T sector. Congress has promised 20 lakh jobs in its manifesto. These measures can be seen as a desperate attempt at appeasing a group that is clearly disappointed.
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think tank that analyses unemployment data across India, the unemployment rate slipped to an appalling state under Yogi Adityanath. The unemployment rate in the state increased to 21.5 per cent in April 2020, during the first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the data also shows that previous governments of one of the largest states in India have not done a great job providing employment in the state either.
Meanwhile, according to national Sample Survey Office (NSSO), India’s unemployment rose to a 45-year high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18. NSSO also surveyed across UP and found that its unemployment rate was almost at par with the national average at 6.2 per cent.
In Goa, Aam Aadmi Party has included providing employment as one of the primary agendas to win the elections. Though compared to other states Goa has performed better when it comes to unemployment but still, there is an increasing number of jobless youth in the state.
In Punjab, the 2017 election saw Congress promising one job per family and the current chief minister of the state Charanjit Singh Channi is making similar promises. He has one lakh jobs and the Shiromani Akali Dal’s Sukhbir has announced 75 percent reservation in the private sector.
However, after the governing period of SAD-BJP for the last 10 years. The Unemployment rate was ta 7.8 per cent higher than the national average of 6.1 percent. This data is according tot he government’s first Periodic Labour Force Survey report for the year 2017-18.
The return of Congress government with the slogan, ‘Ghar Ghar Naukri’ also didn’t bring any changes to the situation. The second NSSO report showed an increased gap between national average and unemployment rate of the state.
Manipur a state that is only in the news for the geographical factor of it sharing its boundaries with Myanmar also shows an alarming growth rate in unemployed compared to the national average.
The ground situation links multiple factors for the increased state of unemployment in the country. The reality remains that everything can’t be blamed on the pandemic. The unemployment saga relates itselfi to various policies by the government. Starting from demonetisation, GST and collapsing under the lockdowns of imposed by the centre.