Posted on : August 4, 2018

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has predicted that India’s unemployment rate in 2018 will stay at 3.5 % while China’s would edge up from 4.7 per cent to 4.8 percent. However, a worrying 77 per cent of employment in India would remain “vulnerable” against just 33 percent in China.

‘The World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2018’ released by the ILO states that economic growth in the Asia and the Pacific region is expected to remain buoyant, at around 5.5 per cent over the forecast horizon of two years. India’s economy, which is anticipated to grow by 7.4 per cent in 2018 (up from 6.7 per cent in 2017) is contributing to the pick up in economic activity in Southern Asia, states the report.

Yet, the report notes that “while there has been strong job creation in some ICT-intensive services, notably in India, a significant portion of the jobs created in the services sector over the past couple of decades have been in traditional low value-added services, where informality and vulnerable forms of employment are often dominant”.

In India, the share of informal employment has risen within almost all manufacturing industries, the report observed, attributing it partly to labour market rigidities preventing modern manufacturing from creating employment opportunities.

As a result, the vulnerable employment rate in India remains high, but constant at 77 percent from 2017 to 2019. Vulnerable employment includes the self-employed or those working in family-run establishments. Such people are less likely to have formal work arrangements, and therefore more likely to lack decent working conditions and adequate social security.

ILO data shows that of the 1.4 billion people estimated to be in vulnerable employment globally this year, 394 million or more than a quarter will be in India alone.

The report states that incidence of working poverty in Asia and the Pacific is expected to continue to decline over the next couple of years. However, the high incidence of informality continues to undermine the prospects of further reducing working poverty, especially in South and South-Eastern Asia. (Story Courtesy- The Economic Times)