Job creation may gather pace from second half of 2017

Job creation may gather pace from second half of 2017
Job creation may gather pace from second half of 2017

The immediate impact of demonetisation will mean a slower pace of job creation but, overall, there is some good news in store for the New Year. How long will the current phase of jobless growth in India, which began during the UPA II regime continue And when will the Narendra Modi government's flagship schemes such as Make in India, Start-up India, etc., start generating jobs - which, for many Indians, remains the true touchstone of the achcche din (good times) promised by the Prime Minister in the run-up to the 2014 general elections There's some good news and some bad news on this front. According to a survey by a leading jobs portal, the organised sector will generate about 875,000 jobs this year. Leading HR consultancy firm TeamLease had also released a survey in October that projected hiring outlook in India at a three and a half year high. But the impact of demonetisation will lead to a shrinkage in job growth in the short term before the outlook and, more importantly, actual recruitments pick up. For middle class Indians seeking a career in the IT sector, the news isn't good. The sector's apex body, Nasscom says net hiring during 2016-17 will be slightly lower than the 200,000 fresh recruitments last year. The forecast for the coming year is also expected to be muted in the face of the global economic stagnation and the uncertainty over how a Donald Trump administration will impact the Indian IT sector. Sectors like retail, real estate, construction and automobiles, which had traditionally driven job growth in the country have been badly hit by demonetisation. Till they pick up steam once again, probably in the latter half of this year, hiring outlook will remain muted. According to the government's own records, only about 135,000 new jobs were created in 2015, lower than 419,000 jobs in 2013 and 900,000 two years before that. Several HR experts expect job growth to pick up exponentially in the latter half of the year when the positive impact of demonetisation begins to kick in, with more economic activity entering the formal sector like Modi's flagship schemes Housing for All and Sagarmala gather steam. Then, analysts feel demonetisation will lead to a fall in inflated house prices as well as interest rates - a combination tailor-made for the growth of the real estate sector, which, has backward and forward linkages with about 250 allied sectors, all of which will push up overall GDP growth by several basis points and drive employment growth. However, there are some disturbing aspects that have come to light following the report of the Sixth Economic Census by the government of India. According to data in the census, India has 10.3 million manufacturing establishments that employ 30.4 million workers. Over an eight-year period, the number of establishments grew 28 per cent but the number of workers increased only 19 per cent, indicating a shrinkage in job opportunities at individual establishments. This is not good news since the manufacturing sector will have to do most of the heavy lifting to create employment opportunities for the 12-15 million youngsters who join the workforce every year. Then, the continuing global slowdown and rising protectionist barriers in the West, the world's largest consuming economies, mean that India's hope of replicating the Chinese model of making for the world will face considerable headwinds. But economists remain optimistic that if the government can lift India's growth rate beyond 8 per cent per annum, enough employment opportunities will be created for people to start feeling that the promised goods times are here.

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