By Arun Kumar
Washington: The percentage of Indians with good jobs is up from where it was two years ago but it provides little strong evidence that India’s sluggish economy is firmly on the mend, according to a new survey.
About one in four Indian adults (26 percent) were employed full time for an employer in the first half of 2012, according to Gallup’s new Payroll to Population metric released Wednesday.
The measure provides a clear-cut indicator of employment that is not affected by shifts in the size of the workforce and is highly correlated with GDP, the leading US opinion poll organisation said.
While the working-age population shrinks in advanced countries and neighbouring economic powerhouse China, Gallup’s data reinforce that India’s still burgeoning young population is not used to its economic potential.
Indians between the ages of 15 and 30 are as likely as their older counterparts to be employed full time for at least 30 hours per week, but they are nearly five times more likely to be unemployed and twice as likely to be underemployed, it said.
However, there are some positive signs for young Indians. More than one in five (22 percent) young Indians who work full time for an employer report working in white-collar jobs-defined as professional workers in fields such as business or education.
Further, the majority of young Indians who work full time for an employer report working in blue-collar type jobs-in fields such as manufacturing, agriculture, or other industries-but they are less likely to be employed in agriculture than older Indians.
While less than 10 percent of jobs for all age groups are in manufacturing, this is a potential area for growth particularly with the large-scale rural-urban migration going on in India, Gallup said.
By some estimates, as many as 300 million young Indians are expected to enter the workforce by 2025 — meaning the problem with high youth unemployment and underemployment in India is only likely to get worse, it said.
Results are based on face-to-face interviews with approximately 5,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted each year in India. Results for 2012 are aggregated results combining the first two quarters in 2012.