Employment is the source of growth of the nation. The drastic recession of the country during the Covid 19 phase has taken employment to nadir. Employment is the need of the hour as the unemployed workforce is downfall productivity of the nation. The rising population should ensure rising demand and thus, an increase in supply and employment. But this phase of falling employment with rising population and stagnant demand is a spiral that would continue if not handled with an effective and efficient policy.
In order to tackle the complexities of unemployment while charting out ideas for creating an employment hub nation, the Center for Work and Welfare(CWW) at IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, organized an online discussion on The Need for a National Employment Policy the state of employment and Livelihood– #Employment Debate series on 12 August 2021.
COVID-19 and Inequality in Employment Opportunities
Dr. Sandhya S. Iyer pointed out the inequality that the pandemic has exasperated, where those with digital acumen have found good employment opportunities whereas others have been left far behind.
Closure of Middle and Lower Market Services and Industrial Sector
Dr. Sandhya highlighted that between 2007 and 2021, we have not made much progress in the MSME sector, and post 2018, especially the pandemic has reinforced uncertainties, vulnerabilities, and closure of the low and medium scale enterprises which form the heart and soul of the nation. Our organized sector continues to be dominated by public sector undertakings. Thus, there is a strong need for rewiring our economic sectors even as there are calls for responding to global value chains.
Overlaps between Various Employment Sectors
We also need to understand the overlaps between the Agricultural sector, Non-farm sector, Formal sector, and MSMEs as the migrant workers keep moving across these sectors without any job security.
She emphasized the need for labor market transformation in the gig economy where workers are employed on daily basis but are paid less for their freelancing services.
She then explained the need for aligning employment and environment policies together for the betterment of society and livelihood. She also expressed the need to focus on Capability-Employability-Employment chain linkages.