• Unemployment exists when people who are willing to work at the going wages cannot find jobs .
  • For example,
    • Sakal’s mother Sheela looked after domestic chores , and children and helped her husband Buta in the field. Sheela is not interested in working outside her domestic domain.
    • Sakal’s brother Jeetu and sister Seetu spend their time roaming and playing . Both of them are too small to be counted in the workforce population .
    • So, neither Jeetu, Seetu nor Sheela can be counted as unemployed .
    • The workforce population includes people from 15 years to 59 years.
    • Sakal’s brother and sister do not fall within this age group so they cannot be called unemployed.
    • Sakal’s mother Sheela works for the family . She is not willing to work outside her domestic domain for payment. She too cannot be called unemployed
    • Sakal’s grandparents (although not mentioned in the story) cannot be called unemployed.

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  • In India, we have unemployment in rural and urban areas but the nature of unemployment differs in rural and urban areas.
  • In rural areas , there is seasonal and disguised unemployment .
    • Seasonal Unemployment occurs when people are not able to find work during some months of the year .
    • People dependent upon agriculture usually face seasonal unemployment .
    • There are certain busy seasons when sowing , harvesting , weeding and threshing are done.
    • The rest of the months do not provide much work to the people dependent on agriculture.
    • In disguised unemployment, people appear to be employed but their contribution is not needed .
    • This usually happens among family members engaged in agricultural activity.
    • The work requires the service of five people but engages eight people .
    • The contribution made by the three extra people does not add to the contribution made by the five people . If three people are removed the productivity of the field will not decline .
    • The field requires the service of five people and the three extra people are disguised as unemployed .
  • Urban areas mostly have educated unemployment .

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  • In urban areas, educated unemployment has become common .
  • Many youths with matriculation , graduation and post-graduation degrees are not able to find jobs .
  • Unemployment among graduates and post-graduates has increased faster than among matriculates.
  • There is a paradoxical manpower situation as excess manpower exists in certain categories while shortages exist in others .
  • There is unemployment among technically qualified people on one hand, while there is a dearth of technical skills required for economic growth .
  • Unemployment leads to the wastage of manpower resources . People who should be an asset to the economy become liabilities .
  • There is also a feeling of hopelessness and despair among the youth because they do not have enough money to support their families.
  • The inability of educated people who are willing to work to find gainful employment implies a great social waste .
  • Unemployment increases economic overload because of the dependence of the unemployed on the working population increases .
  • This affects the quality of life of an individual as well as of society
  • When a family has to live on a bare subsistence level there is a general decline in its health status and rising withdrawal from the school system.
  • Hence, unemployment hurts the overall growth of an economy .
  • An increase in unemployment is an indicator of a depressed economy .
  • It also wastes resources , which could have been gainfully employed .
  • If people cannot be used as a resource they naturally become a liability to the economy .
  • In the case of India, statistically, the unemployment rate is low. 
  • A large number of people represented with low income and productivity are counted as employed
  • They appear to work throughout the year but in terms of their potential and income , it is not adequate for them. 
  • The work that they are pursuing seems forced upon them . They may therefore want other work of their choice
  • Poor people cannot afford to sit idle . They tend to engage in any activity irrespective of its earning potential .
  • Their earnings keep them on a bare subsistence level .

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  • Moreover, the employment structure is characterised by self-employment in the primary sector
  • The whole family contributes to the field even though not everybody is needed . So there is disguised unemployment in the agriculture sector . But the entire family shares what has been produced.
  • This concept of sharing work in the field and the produce raised reduced the hardship of unemployment in the rural sector
  • But this does not reduce the poverty of the family, gradually surplus labour from every household tends to migrate from the village in search of jobs .
  • The employment scenario in the three sectors.
    • Agriculture is the most labour-absorbing sector of the economy but in recent years, there has been a decline in the dependence of the population on agriculture partly because of disguised unemployment .
    • Some of the surplus labour in agriculture has moved to either the secondary or the tertiary sector
    • In the secondary sector , small-scale manufacturing is the most labour-absorbing
    • In the tertiary sector , various new services are now appearing like biotechnology , information technology and so on.



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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.