Unemployment in India, China to rise over next two years: ILO

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018

Informality pervasive in sectors like construction, wholesale, retail

The number of jobless persons in India is likely to increase over the next two years with no change in the unemployment rate, the ILO has estimated.

While the Asia-Pacific region will add 23 million jobs from 2017 to 2019, with employment generation taking place in many South Asian nations including India, the jobless in the entire region will continue to increase, the ILO’s World Employment Outlook report released on Tuesday pointed out. What is of greater concern is that a high incidence of informality continues to undermine the prospects of further reducing working poverty in South Asia.

“Informality affects around 90 per cent of all workers in India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Nepal,” the report said.

High ‘informality’

“Such a high incidence of informality is only partially driven by the high shares of employment in agriculture… In fact, informality in these countries also remains pervasive in the non-agriculture sectors such as construction, wholesale and retail trade, and accommodation and food service industries,” it added.

In India, the number of jobless is expected to increase to 18.6 million in 2018 and 18.9 million in 2019, against 18.3 million in 2017, as per the report.

The unemployment rate is estimated at 3.5 per cent for all three years.

China, too, is going to witness an increase in the number of unemployed to 37.6 million in 2018 and 37.8 million in 2019 from 37.4 million in 2017, the report estimated.

Unemployment in the Asia Pacific region will increase to 83.6 million in 2018 and 84.6 in 2019 from 82.9 million in 2017.

Globally, however, unemployment is likely to go down slightly to 192.3 million jobless people in 2018 compared to 192.7 million in 2017.

The report also pointed out that a lot of jobs being created are of poor quality despite strong economic growth and some 72 per cent of workers in South Asia will have vulnerable employment by 2019.

Vulnerable employment, as per the ILO, is a measure of persons who are employed under relatively precarious circumstances and are less likely to have formal work arrangements, access to benefits or social protection programmes and are more “at risk” to economic cycles.

Published on January 23, 2018

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