Disturbing trend: Why is India’s unemployed youth not looking for jobs?

Disturbing trend: Why is India's unemployed youth not looking for jobs? thumbnail
Data suggests that India’s unemployed youngsters are not looking for jobs. In January 2017, there were 408.4 million employed people in the country. The number of those who were unemployed and seeking jobs was 25.9 million.

Seven months later, by the end of July, the number of employed fell to 405.4 million. But the number of those looking for jobs also fell to 13.7 million, according to a report by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

Why did the unemployed, most of them young, stop looking for jobs?

One reason could be they no longer want jobs and are turning entrepreneurs. The government has launched several schemes to promote entrepreneurship. Maybe, the youth increasingly prefer to be their own bosses.

Another reason could be they want to study further as latest skills are valued in the market these days. In developed countries, people re-skill themselves during economic slowdowns. It could be a similar phenomenon in India.

If they are neither turning entrepreneurs nor enrolling for higher education, what could they be up to? They could actually be doing nothing, which can be a disturbing trend if true, given India’s huge youth population.

Before sweeping to power in the biggest election win in 30 years, Modi appealed to young job-seekers — more than half of the population — with a promise to create 10 million jobs. Three years later it remains unclear how many positions have been created.

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