Labour Ministry rejects Citi’s jobs report, stresses that labour market is robust

Refuting a Citigroup report on India’s job condition, the Union Labour Ministry said on Monday that the official data sources showed consistent improvements in key labour market indicators besides a declining unemployment rate during the last five years.
In an official release, the Labour Ministry mentioned that the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) and data from the RBI and the EPFO showed an increase in Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) and Worker Population Ratio (WPR) and a declining unemployment rate.
According to the PLFS, India’s unemployment rate, according to the current weekly status, declined to 5 per cent in 2023 from 5.7 per cent in 2022. The LFPR rose to 56.2 from 52.8 per cent and the WPR increased to 53.4 from 49.8 per cent.
The ministry further said that the trends in manufacturing, expanding service sector, infrastructure growth, apart from others, including emerging opportunities in multiple sectors such as gig and platform economy and global capacity centres indicated “robust future prospects”.
Hence, the “selective use” of private data sources could lead to misleading conclusions about India’s employment scenario, said the ministry, while emphasising on the need for credibility and comprehensiveness of official data.
Citigroup in a report last week had mentioned that India would struggle to create enough jobs for its growing workforce over the next decade even if the economy grew at a rapid pace of 7 per cent. The report had suggested that the world’s most-populous nation would need more concerted steps to boost employment and skills.
The Citi report had estimated that India would need to create about 1.2 crore jobs a year over the next decade to absorb the number of new entrants to the labour market. Based on a growth rate of 7 per cent, India could only generate about 90 lakh jobs a year, it had said.

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