Monday, August 15, 2016

Employment Scenario in Delhi: A Note

Surajit Das

According to the Census 2011, Delhi’s population was around 1 crore 68 lakhs. According to the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), the estimated population of Delhi was around 1 crore 71 lakhs in 2011-12. The growth of population during 2001 to 2011 period has been 21% in Delhi. If the same growth continues, the estimated population of Delhi would be roughly around 1 crore 90 lakhs today. During 1981 to 2001 period, the population of Delhi grew at an average rate of more than 6% per annum mainly because of huge influx of people from outside Delhi. During 2001 to 2011 period, the annual population growth rate of Delhi has come down to little above 2%.


If we look at the number of total workers in Delhi from the Census data, the total number of worker was 20 lakh in 1981, which has gone upto 60 lakh in 2011. During the 1981 to 2001 period, the total number of workers grew by 127% in 20 years. During the 10-year period between 2001 and 2011, it has grown only by 23%. However, since the population also grew at a lower rate, the total number of workers as proportion to total population remained more or less stagnated near 32-33%. The total number of non-workers in the population remained high at around 67-68% of the population. According to the census data of 2011, the total number of workers in Delhi was 56 lakhs and non-workers was 112 lakhs out of total 1 crore 68 lakh population.

Table 1: Population, Workers, Non-Workers of Delhi According to Census         


Census Data of Various Years (In Lakhs)
Growth Rates in %
Year
Population
Non Workers
Workers
Gap
Population
Non Workers
Workers
1981
62.2
42.2
20.0
22.2



1991
94.2
64.4
29.8
34.6
51.5
52.7
48.9
2001
138.5
93.1
45.5
47.6
47.0
44.5
52.5
2011
167.9
112.0
55.9
56.1
21.2
20.4
22.9

Although, on an average, the number of dependents per worker remained more or less stagnant during last forty years in Delhi, the number of non-workers in absolute terms increased steadily over time. The gap between number of non-workers and the workers increased from 22 lakhs in 1981 to 35 lakhs in 1991, to 48 lakhs in 2001, to 56 lakhs in 2011. In 2011, the number of workers is just one third and non-workers constitute exactly two third of the population. It is important to mention here that the workers are defined as those who are employed but non-workers include not only unemployed but also those who are not in the labour force. For example, the elderly persons and young children are also counted as part of the ‘non-worker’ category.


Note: The gaps (In Lakhs) between workers and non-workers are measured along the secondary axis.

As mentioned above, we cannot calculate the number of unemployed people from the information given in the census data. We have to depend on NSSO data for more details. NSSO conducts surveys every year but most of them are based on very thin sample. However, NSSO conducts large sample surveys once in every five years. Again, the large sample data is not comparable with the small sample observations. To understand the trends in employment-unemployment situation in Delhi, we have considered the NSSO large sample based estimates for the years 1977-78, 1987-88, 1999-2000, 2004-05, 2009-10 and 2011-12.

Table 2: NSSO Estimates of Employment-Unemployment in Delhi (In Lakhs)

 Year
Employed
Unemployed
Labour Force
Not in Labour Force
Population
1977-78
17
2.08
19.08
28.69
54.1
1987-88
27.38
1.39
28.77
41.71
81.86
1999-2000
38.95
5.59
44.54
88.44
132.98
2004-05
50.55
1.65
52.2
103.49
155.69
2009-10
52.96
1.74
54.7
108.83
163.54
2011-12
57.06
2.66
59.73
111.16
170.89


Note: Employed plus unemployed together constitute the labour force.
It is evident from Table 2 that the total number of employed persons in Delhi was around 57 lakhs in 2011-12, which is more or less comparable with the census 2011 figure of 56 lakhs. According to NSSO 2011-12 data, the estimated population of Delhi was 1 crore 71 lakh. Out of that 1 crore 11 lakh people were not in the labour force and around 60 lakh people constituted Delhi’s total labour force. 57 lakh of them were into some kind of employment and 2 lakh 66 thousand people were unemployed in Delhi in 2011-12. Therefore, the unemployment rate (as proportion of total labour force) was around 4.5% in 2011-12.


Note: The numbers of unemployed (in lakhs) and unemployment rate (In %) are measured along the secondary axis.

If we look at the historical trends, the unemployment was slightly above 2 lakhs in 1977-78, which came down to 1 lakh 40 thousand during 1987-88. Unemployment increased enormously during 1990’s and as high as 5 lakh 60 thousand people within the labour force were unemployed in Delhi during 1999-2000. Eventually, the level of unemployment came down during the last decade and it became 1 lakh 75 thousand in 2009-10. It has started growing again and crossed 2 lakh 65 thousand in the recent past. As far as the unemployment rate is concerned, it was around 11% in 1977-78, which came down to below 5% in 1987-88 and again went up to 12.5% in 1999-2000. It was relatively low during the first decade of 2000’s (little above 3%) but, it has started growing according to the latest large sample NSSO data (4.5% in 2011-12).




The directorate of unemployed in Delhi data also shows similar trends in unemployment (although the numbers are very different). Throughout 1990’s, unemployment of all the categories were high. Total unemployment exceeded 10 lakh in Delhi in 1995 and remained above 10 lakh till 2003 (excepting 1 year of 1999). Unemployment in Delhi came down 2004 onwards during the high growth period till 2009. It has started rising again 2010 onwards and crossed 8 lakh 55 thousand in 2013 from 4 lakh 15 thousand in 2009.

In 2009, number of unemployed with below matriculation qualification came down to almost 50 thousand (from 2 lakh 73 thousand in 1998), which has gone up again to 1 lakh 28 thousand in 2013. For the labour force with below graduation qualification, number of unemployed came down to 1 lakh 80 thousand in 2007 (from 6 lakh 35 thousand in 2003) that has again reached almost 5 lakh in 2013. Among the graduates and post graduates, the number of unemployed was more than 2 lakh 73 thousand in 1998, which came down to around 56 thousand in 2009 in Delhi. This has gone up to 1 lakh 87 thousand again in 2013. For the other diploma holders also we notice similar trend. The unemployment among this particular category of the labour force was more than 22 thousand in 1998, which came down to below 9 thousand in 2009 and again went up to 45 thousand in 2013. As it is clearly evident from the above area chart, the total unemployment in Delhi came down after 2003, during the high growth period till 2009 and it has started rising again 2010 onwards. In 2003, the total recorded unemployment in Delhi has exceeded the level what it was in the beginning of 1990s.

Table 3: Organised Sector Employment in Delhi


Year
Central Govt.
Delhi Govt.
Quasi Govt.
Local Bodies
Total Public Sector Employment
Private Sector
Total Organised Sector Employment
1
1994
2.13
1.1
2.12
0.97
6.32
2.18
8.5
2
1995
2.15
1.11
2.1
0.95
6.31
2.23
8.54
3
1996
2.14
1.12
2.08
0.94
6.28
2.25
8.53
4
1997
2.1
1.12
2.05
0.94
6.21
2.22
8.43
5
1999
2.14
1.14
2.04
0.94
6.26
2.22
8.48
6
2000
2.14
1.13
2.04
0.95
6.26
2.21
8.47
7
2001
2.12
1.14
2.03
0.95
6.24
2.17
8.41
8
2002
2.1
1.2
1.98
0.93
6.21
2.15
8.36
9
2003
2.14
1.21
1.96
0.93
6.24
2.13
8.37
10
2004
2.12
1.21
1.94
0.93
6.2
2.19
8.39
11
2005
2.1
1.2
1.92
0.93
6.15
2.16
8.31
12
2006
2.06
1.2
1.86
0.93
6.05
2.21
8.26
13
2007
2.02
1.21
1.85
0.93
6.01
2.3
8.31
14
2008
2.04
1.24
1.79
0.93
6
2.36
8.36
15
2009
2.03
1.27
1.79
0.83
5.92
2.51
8.43
Source: Economic Survey of Delhi, 2014-15.

Delhi being the national capital territory (NCT) of the country, it enjoys the benefit of having lot of government and quasi-government offices located here from the point of view of the overall organised sector employment scenario. However, if we look at the trend in the organised sector employment including the public and the private organised sector during 1994 to 2009 in Delhi, we see that there is a clear downward trend at least upto the year 2006. 2007 onwards, there has been some improvement.



However, that improvement has not happened due to increase in the job opportunities in the public sector – there has been some recruitments in the private sector – the public sector has registered a continuous decline in the entire period from 1994 to 2009. The decline has been sharpened after 2003 during the high growth period and the same trend is continuing in the recent past. Primarily because of decline in the public sector employment, inspite of some improvement in the organised private sector, the overall organised sector employment has declined drastically in Delhi.

If we do a simple exercise and compare total employment of Delhi given by the various rounds of NSSO large and small sample surveys with the organised sector employment figures given by the economic survey of Delhi, we see how the share of organised sector has declined over time between 1999-2000 and 2009-10 in Delhi.


Further, if we calculate the unorganised sector employment by subtracting the total organised sector employment figures given by the economic survey of Delhi from the total employment numbers given by various NSSO rounds, we get an idea about the size of the unorganised sector in Delhi relative to the size of the organised sector. More importantly, it is not only the fact that the size of the unorganised sector in Delhi has become more than 5 times the size of the organised sector, but, what is more alarming is the fact that the presence of organised sector in the total employment scenario is continuously declining. Therefore, as compared to its own past, Delhi employment scenario is worsening, in general, and within that, the proportion of the unorganised sector is increasing making the employed more vulnerable and pushing the entire labour force further into misery.

The Author is an Assistant Professor, CESP, JNU, New Delhi

1 comment:

  1. Your stated ,- "During 1981 to 2001 period, the population of Delhi grew at an average rate of more than 6% per annum mainly because of huge influx of people from outside Delhi. During 2001 to 2011 period, the annual population growth rate of Delhi has come down to little above 2%." Is it correct. During 2001 to 2011 Delhi Metro had grown in AP but population increased in GP. So the basic parameter needs to be revisited.

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