India’s Labor Force – WSJ

India’s urban women are four times less likely to be in paid work than their male counterparts with the most educated being the least likely to participate in the workforce, the latest figures from India’s labor ministry show.

Meanwhile in rural India, women are marginally more likely to have a job – the ratio of male to female participation in the workforce is 2.6 to 1.

Here are some more findings from the survey.

39%

The proportion of women who have received vocational training were not part of the workforce in 2013/14.

Although women were not asked to give reasons in the survey, Jayan Jose Thomas, an assistant professor of economics at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and an expert on India’s labor market and industry, said women often face discrimination at work in rural and urban India, including unequal pay.

In urban India, there were also concerns for women’s safety, traveling to and from work and in the workplace. Pushing the figures higher, women who chose to be homemakers were counted as unemployed.

“When you look at the figures for women, you understand the real employment situation in India. You see a huge mismatch,” said Mr. Thomas.

Indian women’s participation in the workforce falls as their education level rises, according to research by Mr. Thomas.

Labor-force participation by women in 2009-10 showed nearly 55% of women with post-graduate level education had not joined the workforce. Most women who didn’t join the workforce said “they are attending to domestic duties.”

524 rupees

The average daily wage for a man educated beyond high school working in an Indian city. That is the equivalent of $8. For women, average earnings were 391 rupees a day.

12 million

The number of people who enter India’s workforce each year. Some argue India’s rigid labor laws, which make it harder to fire employees, may be the reason employers are reluctant to hire full-time staff but Mr. Thomas says, despite official figures showing otherwise, the growth of India’s workforce has stagnated from lack of investment in infrastructure.

Government investment in basic infrastructure, like setting up power plants, needs to take place before the country can realize Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make In India” drive, which seeks to supercharge the country’s manufacturing growth, according to Mr. Thomas.

“India’s infrastructure shortage is so high that you cannot expect private investment to kick-start industrial growth. You need public sector to do the work first,” Mr. Thomas said. “Major initiative has to come from the government.”

5.5 million

Jobs created in India every year. Even though 12 million people join India’s workforce every year, the number of new jobs is much lower. Mr. Modi’s government has set a target of creating 400 million jobs by 2020 to try and narrow the gap.

6.8 %

The proportion of India’s population signing up for vocational training in the country. Among those who successfully train, a large proportion – 75% – find employment.

via India’s Labor Force – WSJ.

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