Govt counters Citigroup's job creation concerns with official data

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Responding to the Citigroup report on employment in India, the government has refuted its findings and highlighted positive trends in job creation. According to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Citigroup report did not consider comprehensive data sources such as the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) and the RBI’s KLEMS data, which indicate substantial employment opportunities.

“The recent research report by Citigroup on Employment in India quoted by some of the print and electronic media, which forecasts that India will struggle to create sufficient employment opportunities even with a 7% growth rate, fails to account for the comprehensive and positive employment data available from official sources such as the PLFS and the RBI’s KLEMS data,” an official statement said.

Citi estimated that India will need to create about 12 million jobs over the next decade to absorb the number of new entrants to the labour market. Based on a growth rate of 7%, India can only generate 8–9 million jobs a year, the bank’s economists said in the report.

The report asserted that India will struggle to create enough jobs for its growing workforce over the next decade, even if the economy grows at a rapid pace of 7%. It also posed questions about the quality of jobs being created in India.

The Ministry cited RBI’s KLEMS data, which shows over 80 million jobs were created from 2017–18 to 2021–22, averaging over 20 million jobs annually.

Additionally, more than 6.2 crore new subscribers joined EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) between September 2017 and March 2024, with significant growth in NPS (National Pension Scheme) subscriptions.

Regarding the PLFS, the ministry highlighted improving trends in labour market indicators: the Worker Population Ratio (WPR) rose from 46.8% to 56%, while the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) increased from 49.8% to 57.9%.

Moreover, the unemployment rate declined from 6.0% to 3.2% during the same period.

The government also reiterated its commitment to fostering a robust and inclusive job market.