Indian Youth Employment Deteriorated In 2021, Says ILO

The situation is particularly severe for very young people aged 15–20 years.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Labourers in India. (Photo:&nbsp;Mohammad Samir/Unsplash)</p></div>
Labourers in India. (Photo: Mohammad Samir/Unsplash)

Indian youth employment deteriorated in 2021 compared with the year earlier as the Covid-19 crisis “exacerbated the numerous labour market challenges” generally faced by young people, according to the International Labour Organization.

Less than half of the global youth employment deficit in 2020 is projected to be recovered by 2022, the ILO said in a report titled ‘Global Employment Trends for Youth, 2022’. “There was some moderate recovery in global youth employment, albeit not comparable to the recovery observed in adult labour markets. The trend, however, excludes India.”

Citing the data based on household surveys conducted by the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy, the report said youth employment-to-population ratio declined 0.9 percentage points over the first nine months of 2021 relative to its value in 2020, while it increased 2 percentage points for adults over the same period.

The situation is particularly severe for very young people aged 15–20 years, it said, referring to an analysis by Rosa Abraham, assistant professor at Azim Premji University.

“The extraordinary dynamics of youth employment in India distort the global picture.”

Indian young women experienced larger relative employment losses than young men in 2021 and 2022, the report said.

In general, the high youth employment losses in India drive up the global average employment losses. Young Indian men account for 16% of young men in the global labour market, while the corresponding share for young Indian women is just 5%. Consequently, the weighted global average employment deficit is pushed up much more by young Indian men than by young Indian women, the report said.

“The global average employment deficit thus appears larger for young men than for young women in 2021 and 2022.”