Government Rebuts Citigroup’s Report on India’s Employment Growth



The Ministry of Labour and Employment has issued a strong rebuttal to Citigroup’s recent research report, which claims that India will struggle to create sufficient employment opportunities even with a 7% growth rate. The Ministry argues that the report overlooks comprehensive and positive employment data from official sources like the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) and the Reserve Bank of India’s KLEMS data.

Positive Employment Trends Ignored

According to PLFS and RBI’s KLEMS data, over 8 crore (80 million) employment opportunities were created from 2017-18 to 2021-22, averaging more than 2 crore (20 million) jobs per year. This data contradicts Citigroup’s assertions and highlights the effectiveness of government initiatives in boosting employment across various sectors.

Improving Labour Market Indicators

The Annual PLFS report shows an increase in the Worker Population Ratio (WPR) from 46.8% in 2017-18 to 56% in 2022-23, and the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) from 49.8% to 57.9% in the same period. The Unemployment Rate (UR) decreased from 6.0% in 2017-18 to 3.2% in 2022-23. This data indicates that more jobs have been generated than the number of people joining the labour force, leading to a consistent reduction in unemployment.

Growth in Formal Sector Employment

EPFO data reveals that more than 1.3 crore subscribers joined EPFO in 2023-24, doubling the 61.12 lakh who joined in 2018-19. Since September 2017, over 6.2 crore net subscribers have joined EPFO, showing significant growth in formal sector employment.

Substantial Increase in NPS Subscribers

The National Pension System (NPS) saw a 30% increase in new subscribers in 2023-24, with more than 7.75 lakh new members joining under the Central and State governments, compared to 5.94 lakh in 2022-23. This increase reflects the government’s efforts to fill public sector vacancies promptly.

Robust Future Employment Prospects

The Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) reports employing about 5.4 million formal contract workers, with a 30% unmet demand in sectors like manufacturing, retail, and banking due to talent shortages. The gig economy is also expanding, with the NITI Aayog projecting that platform workers will reach 2.35 crore (23.5 million) by 2029-30, forming 6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce.

Official Data Credibility

The Ministry criticizes the reliance on private data sources, arguing that these often use non-standard definitions and methodologies, leading to less robust and representative results. The selective use of data in such reports undermines their credibility and presents a misleading picture of India’s employment scenario.

Commitment to Inclusive Job Market

The Ministry underscores the credibility of official data sources like PLFS, RBI, and EPFO, showing consistent improvements in labour market indicators and substantial progress towards a robust and inclusive job market. The government remains committed to creating diverse employment opportunities, as evidenced by the positive trends and comprehensive data from official sources.

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