Millions of Indians Quit Workforce, No Longer Looking For Jobs: Report

A total of 21 million women have disappeared from the workforce with only 9% employed or looking for opportunities.

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Millions of discouraged Indians, especially women, have stopped looking for jobs over slim job opportunities in the past five years and are quitting the labour force entirely, as per data by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a private research firm in Mumbai, reported Bloomberg on Monday, 25 April.

As per data, between 2017 and 2022, the overall labor participation rate dropped from 46 percent to 40 percent. Now, over half of the 900 million eligible Indians – roughly the population of the US and Russia combined –don’t want a job, said the CMIE report.

A total of 21 million women have also disappeared from the workforce with only 9 percent of the eligible population employed or looking for opportunities, the report stated.

The drop in workforce can be attributed to factors predating the pandemic and in a world of rapid technological change, many are simply falling behind in honing marketable skill-sets.

'Women Contribute 18% of Economic Output'

The CMIE report stated that many women are quitting the workforce due to safety or time-consuming responsibilities at home. Though they represent 49 percent of India’s population, women contribute only 18 percent of its economic output, about half the global average, as per the report.

Mahesh Vyas of CMIE said that the workforce has not been accommodating to women.

“For example, men are willing to change trains to reach their job. Women are less likely to be willing to do that. This is happening on a very large scale,” he added.
Mahesh Vyas, CMIE

India has been dealing with job creation for years now. For India to achieve economic growth, it needs to create at least 90 million new non-farm jobs by 2030, according to a 2020 report by McKinsey Global Institute. To achieve that, the country would require an annual GDP growth of 8-8.5 percent.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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