The despair on the job front has slowly been replaced by hope. The year 2021 has well begun. A significant fall in unemployment rate has been recorded in January, while employment rate rose though not so impressive. The gains can be consolidated, but would require a great push to the labour intensive business and industries, particularly the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Additionally, the course of fast deteriorating quality of job especially after the pandemic needs to be reversed, which can be done only by putting on hold the four labour codes that the Modi Government has got passed in the parliament and subsequently notified.
The fall in unemployment rate from 9.1 per cent in December 2020 to 6.5 per cent in January 2021, as stated in the latest CMIE report, is of course significant. It creates a great hope among the jobseekers in a background of almost cent per cent joblessness during the lockdown of the economy, and only a little improvement thereafter. However, the Government will have to work relentlessly, because even with 2.6 per cent fall in unemployment, India is still at the unemployment level of two years back in 2018, which was 45 years high. Any complacency on the part of the Government therefore would be dangerous.
We must note that the last two months have seen an unusual jump in this volatility. In December 2020, India added 11.3 million unemployed persons. In January 2021, India saw the count of unemployed decline by 10.7 million. These are extraordinary variations, which need to be watched and after ascertaining the reasons proper remedies put in place. Moreover, a very large number of people around 40 million are waiting for employment. We must act fast, to give jobs to all hands that want works.