President of the Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi, recently posted the following video on his Twitter account:
I met a group of really interesting students from all over India, for dinner a few days ago. I learnt a lot from the wonderful exchange of ideas & perspectives. Here’s a short video with the highlights of our interaction.#ApniBaatRahulKeSaath pic.twitter.com/H9pW3t1ur1— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 5, 2019
In this video, as he is dining and conversing with a group of young adults in their twenties, he states that there exists a scarcity of jobs in India and gives the following figures:
- China produces 50,000 jobs every 24 hours
- India produces 450 jobs every 24 hours
However, Gandhi makes no mention of any timeframe or the source from which these figures have been taken.
BOOM looks at recently available data on enployment to corroborate these claims.
If Gandhi’s statement is to be believed:
- China should be creating 18.25 million jobs a year: 50,000 x 365
- India should be creating 164,250 jobs a year: 450 x 365
Chinese Employment Data
The Chinese Ministry of Human Resources & Social Security released official employment series in the Chinese economy.
According to available data, the following employment numbers stand:
If the numbers are taken for this entire period, that is 21 million jobs created in 546 days, it averages to around 38,516 jobs created daily.
According to another report, Yin Weimin, Minister of Human Resources and Social Security in China stated that 65 million jobs have been created in China in 5 years ending in 2017, which averages to 13 million jobs a year – a little more than 35,600 jobs per day.
Rahul Gandhi’s claims in this video seems to have overestimated the number of jobs being created in China
The sources to the links:
- 2017 data from GB News, China
- 2018 data from Xinhua News
- Report stating Yin Weimin’s statement on job creation, which can be read here.
Indian Employment Data
India has no singular point of reference for employment data. As mentioned in the sections below, many authorities have given reference to the undersupply of employment data.
BOOM looks at multiple data sources to ascertain the validity of Gandhi’s statement.
In India, the government cites data to showcase job creation from the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), and these have often been bought up in the course of political discourse.
Here tweet that reflect this:
It’s clear that he has inherited Mussolini’s shortsightedness and has myopic understanding of issues.— BJP (@BJP4India) January 31, 2019
EPFO’s real data shows sharp increase in jobs, created in just the last 15 months.
Only a man who hasn’t ever held a proper job & is totally jobless can peddle such #FakeNews! https://t.co/T0DHUs7IdZ
Even Finance Minister of India, Piyush Goyal, cited EPFO data in the recent Interim Budget that was presented in Parliament on February 1.
The EPFO data provides figures on the number of new Provident Funds created in the organised/formal sector, and is used as a proxy to gauge new jobs created.
This proxy has been established due to a lack of comprehensive data on jobs, as stated in an article stated by Rajya Sabha TV (the television and media mouthpiece of India’s Upper House of Parliament), an archived version which can be read here. This brief article states the lines:
The payroll data showed, in total, as many as 61.8 lakh jobs were created during September 2017 to July 2018 period. Amid concerns over jobless growth and lack of comprehensive data on jobs, the government started releasing data on job creations in the formal sector since September 2017. Any company employing more than 20 people gets covered by EPFO.
As per their data, which is on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Employment and can found here:
Amongst points stated in these articles are:
- EPFO data could be used as a better indicator of the formalisation of employment than job creation.
- EPFO data does not provide clarity on its approach to double-counting.
- As per statutory regulation, a PFO is required to be provided by firms with more than 20 employees. Even if a firm employees 19 personnel and adds another to make it 20, EPFO data would show that 20 new jobs have been created, when the new job created is only one.
Assuming EPFO data as the perfect proxy figure to job creation, Gandhi seems to have underestimate job data figures, pegging it at only 450 per day.
Report from McKinsey Global Institute
McKinsey Research released a discussion paper in June 2017 on the growth of meaningful jobs in India, which can be accessed here.
The reports, while highlighting job growth between 2011 to 2015, states:
Surveys showing a three-percentage-point decline in India’s overall labour force participation between 2011 and 2015 should not take focus away from the structural shift from agriculture towards the non-farm sector, particularly construction, trade, and transport. During this period, agriculture shrank by 26 million while non-farm jobs rose by 33 million, largely driven by rapid economic growth between 2013 and 2015.
This report cites the annual surveys of the Ministry of Labour, and states:
Based on the annual surveys, the total number of jobs in India from 2011 to 2015 grew by about seven million, from 455 million to 462 million.
Seven million or seventy lakh (7,000,000) jobs in 5 years translates to:
- On average, 1.4 million annually.
- Which further translates to an average of 3836 jobs a day
The report further echoes the claims of an employment data deficit and states:
More recent trends in aggregate employment cannot be derived from the quarterly enterprise studies available, highlighting the data deficit.
The Ministry of Labour
While the numbers from the annual report of the Ministry of Labour has been the covered above, the annual employment-unemployment survey does provide these figures according to three labour-related metrics in India:
- The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR)
- The Worker Population Ratio (WPR)
- The Unemployment Rate (UR)
The report can be accessed here.
Other Data Sources
- The Annual Economic Survey, that is presented just before the budget. The latest version is the one presented for 2017-2018 (since only the interim budget has been presented in 2019), which can be accessed here. However, it does not give any mention of the jobs created, but only of the statistical status quo across various parameters. Plus, it provides numbers only up to 2012.
- Mahesh Vyas of The Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy states a job creation of 1.5 million in fiscal 2017. This averages to 4110 jobs per day, as reported here.
- A recent press statement by the NITI Aayog, who stated that 7 million to 7.7 million jobs were being created yearly – which translates to 19,000 – 21,000 daily jobs, in the same vicinity as the EPFO table shared above. The press conference has been covered in the last paragraphs here.
- The leaked NSSO survey by Business Standard; while shedding light on the high unemployment rate – at a 45-year high – states no absolute figures (in the public domain) for the number of jobs generated in any given timeframe.