The Labour Bureau has compiled statistics for job creation in labour-intensive sectors in the country each quarter since the 2008 global financial crisis.
The latest figures show that 1.35 lakh jobs were created in 2015, the lowest figure by far of any year since 2008. It is lower than the 4.9 lakh new jobs in 2014 and 12.5 lakh in 2009.
The last quarter of 2015 recorded job losses.
Private surveys suggest that the services sector will hire more than manufacturing this year, but it might not be enough to employ the one crore Indians who enter the workforce annually.
Annual economic growth has dipped since 2008-10 but the challenge for the country remains how to better its job creation for every percentage point of GDP growth, a ratio on which it significantly lags behind most other emerging economies.
According to the Economic Survey, the median age in the country is well short of 30, and along with the young entrants to the workforce there will be those seeking a shift from low-paying farm jobs.
We need a holistic action plan that covers every sector and one that includes a skilling and re-skilling programme to increase employability and productivity, incentives for smaller enterprises that absorb a greater number of workers, and the embedding of job generation in the massive infrastructure upgrade that India requires.
According to Transforming India, vision statement released by the Department of Administrative Reforms:
175 million new jobs could be created by 2032 if the economy grows by 10 per cent annually but the figure is 115 million if it grows by 7 per cent.
To create jobs on such a scale, it proposes tax incentives and interest subsidies for firms creating jobs and some blue-sky interventions to invigorate sectors like negotiating free trade pacts with major markets such as the European Union and the U.S. to boost textiles, improve regional air connectivity for tourism, and so on.