How can we overcome Unemployment & reap fruits of Demographic dividend?

India being the second most populated country in the world is witnessing demographic transition and is entering a phase where approximately 62% of its population will be in the working age group (15-65 years).

This significantly shows the availability of enormous Demographic Dividend which means the potential for greater economic growth due to shift in the population’s age structure where the working population (15-65 years of age) is highest in the country. However, it can turn out as a disaster if the potential of this population is not channelized into right direction and gainfully employed.

We are aware that India has very high unemployment rates and Covid 19 pandemic has even more worsened the play, currently the unemployment rate as at June 2020 is 10.99% and labour force participation rate(LFPR) is 46% in 2018 as compared to 50% in 2012.

Unemployment Rate:

Labour Force Participation Rate:

Let us address these alarming figures of unemployment and consider measures to reap the benefits of Demographic Dividend.

Firstly, the unemployment rate means the percentage of unemployed individuals in an economy among individuals currently in the labour force (i.e. if I say unemployment rate is 10% it means out of 100 persons who are seeking employment 10 are not employed anywhere) and LFPR is the number of people who are searching for jobs/seeking employment out of the total working age group (i.e. if I say LFPR is 30% it means out of 100 persons in the age group 15-65 only 30 are seeking the employment).

This means that in India looking at the current rates we can say out of 100 people in the working age group only 46 are willing to work or seeking jobs and the rest of the labour force is idle in contributing towards GDP and out these 46 people who are willing out to work, 6 are unemployed. If sufficient measures are not taken to increase the job opportunities for these people we might end up in vicious circle of poverty attributable to lower incomes of the family which will reduce the purchasing capacity which in turn reduces the consumption and production and ultimately lowering entire economic growth.

Secondly, the area of concern troubling these people in the working age group is their employability. Here when I say employability it connotes that people are willing to work but they do not have relevant skills needed for the job, which is making them unemployable. Every year millions are students are graduating out of universities with no skills needed for this practical world and are in abyss of darkness not knowing how to come out.

Like there is always light at the end of tunnel, there is a ray of hope for us to rise out of all these shortcomings and make the most out of this demographic transition. There are many things which has to be streamlined like improving the health care infrastructure so as to ensure the productivity of the population, aligning our educational system to the current needs, urbanization so on and so forth which are in the hands of our government and public authorities to address.

In this article, we are focussing on what each one of us can do in our individual and collective capacity to battle this unemployment and unfolding ways to achieve them.

  1. Skill Development:

    In order to make us employable we have to fill this immense gap between industry requirement and educational system by empowering ourselves with relevant skills needed for this modern economy. Education is not about graduating with good marks it’s all about how much we are able to apply what we have learnt and mastering the skills demanded by this modern world.
    Below are links to skill development programs/courses initiated by government towards upgrading the skills.

  2. Self-employment:

    When we have so many opportunities in front of us and can leverage them to create our own jobs why to wait for government or somebody else to create. India being a developing country there are many untapped areas where we have not marked our foot yet, all it requires is understanding and bit of research on what works best for one. Also, now with the call from our PM to Atma Nirbhar Bharat- making India self-reliant has opened doors of opportunities looking for alternatives to Chinese products and being vocal to our local can be the first step towards achieving this.
    Below are links to entrepreneurship development programs and schemes initiated by government,
    msme schemes ebiz karnataka

  3. Ensuring women participation in economic growth:

    It is seen that Female LFPR is shrinking, in 2018 it was only 26% and 95% of them are employed in unorganized sectors. Thus, to derive the complete benefit of our demographic transition to economy we must ensure that the women are given level playing field and are encouraged to work.

  4. Adapting to changing technologies:

    Whether it be agriculture/manufacturing/service industry we must be updated with the latest technology to stay competitive in this globalized economy and to be ahead the curve.

Being the youngest country with high potential to economic growth we should focus on transforming every obstacle into opportunity and create a niche for ourselves in the global map.

Everyone is witnessing a meltdown due to this pandemic; this is the time we stand for each other and we rise by lifting others. I am hopeful that we get back to normal life momentarily. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Please Share