NITI Aayog clarifies report saying 'unemployment at 45-year high' not verified

Virginia Carson
February 1, 2019

The two National Statistical Commission members, including the chairman, who had quit over the allegations of government with-helding the report had made front page headlines in the newspapers and newsrooms after which the government intervened and had interacted with the two members.

The BJP retort came after Gandhi attacked Modi over employment generation, saying he had promised two crore jobs, but five years later a "leaked job creation report card" had revealed a "national disaster".

The CPI (M) has alleged that the latest NSSO data on employment had been suppressed by the government as it showed joblessness had reached a four-decade high post-demonetisation and demanded that all such data be released immediately.

"For educated rural females, the unemployment rate ranged between 9.7% to 15.2% between 2004-05 to 2011-12, which rose to 17.3 per cent in 2017-18", the report said.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that India's growth rate is 7.2 per cent.

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The report further said that unemployment was higher in urban areas (7.8%) as compared to 5.3% in rural areas of the country, as mentioned in a report in Business Standard. Lack of good quality jobs and a large informal sector is adding to our economic woes stated Kant.

Modi came to power in 2014 promising to galvanise the economy, and boost employment prospects for the millions of young Indians entering the jobs market each year.

"We have not released the report".

A statistics ministry official said the NSSO had submitted the report, but it was up to the government to decide when it should be released.

Himanshu, an associate professor at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University who specialises in development economics, said that the jobs crisis was everywhere to see.

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The survey by NSSO was the first one since the infamous demonetisation in November 2016, which brought the Indian economy to a grinding halt. The report also says youth unemployment is at "astronomically high" levels of 13 to 27 per cent.

The survey comes a month after the All India Manufacturers' Organisation released a report that said 3.5 million jobs had been lost since 2016.

Some sociologists say that there are instances of a correlation between high unemployment and an increase in criminal behaviour.

The government declined to confirm or deny the findings contained in the report.

This is the same stance the government adopted when GDP back-series data was released by a sub-committee of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) a year ago.

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