(Image source from: en.royanews.tv)
On 8 November 2016 Indian citizens received a bolt from the blue after realizing their Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes won’t be accepted anymore. The Government of India announced the demonetization of all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series.
Almost two and half years after the move it has been found that an estimated 5 million people have lost their jobs, according to a report titled, “State of Working India 2019”, based on research conducted by the Centre for Sustainable Employment (CSE) at the Azim Premji University.
Though there has been a steady rise in joblessness over the past decade it speeded up more after demonetization.
The report revealed that an estimated 50 lakh people lost their jobs between 2016 and 2018. The acceleration in unemployment began with the demonetization in November 2016. The report, however, makes it clear-cut that “no direct causal relationship can be established based only on these trends”.
The researchers have used the data on the national labor market from the Consumer Pyramids Survey of the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE-CPDX). CMIE is an independent economic think tank based out of Mumbai. CMIE surveys about 160,000 households every four months.
Earlier, the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) periodic labor force survey (PLFS) revealed that unemployment has reached the highest levels since 1972-73.
However, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar argued that comparing historic NSSO reports would be disingenuous since the methodologies have changed.
The CSE report further reveals that the unemployment rate was around 6 percent in 2018 that is “double of what it was in the decade from 2000 to 2011”.
“After remaining at around 2 to 3 percent for the first decade, the unemployment rate steadily increased to around 5 percent in 2015 and then just over 6 percent in 2018”, the report said.
With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections underway, unemployment has been a key poll issue.
By Sowmya Sangam