“While the growth rate of GDP appears rosy, the unemployment rate rose to 6.4 per cent in August,” said an editorial in the CPI-M mouthpiece “People’s Democracy”.
“This is higher than the 5.6 per cent rate in July and far higher than the 4.1 per cent unemployment rate recorded in August 2017,” it said.
“Modi government’s policies have perpetuated the agrarian crisis resulting in high rural unemployment; 50 per cent of the workforce in India is in agriculture.
“The policies of privatisation and opening up of all basic services to the market have resulted in a bulk of employment being in the informal sector.
“It is here that there is maximum exploitation with no minimum wages, job security and social security benefits,” said the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
The editorial, titled “Where Are the Jobs?”, described as baseless the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government about the number of jobs being created.
On September 17, 1.9 crore applicants appeared for the Railway Recruitment Board exam to fill 62,907 vacancies for jobs at Level I (equivalent to Group D). These were jobs such as gangman, gateman, helpers in electrical and mechanical wings. Many job seekers were post-graduates.
Earlier, in Uttar Pradesh, 23 lakh people applied for around 400 Class IV jobs, of these 50,000 were graduates, the editorial said.
Similarly in West Bengal, in 2017, for 6,000 jobs in Class IV, or Group D category, 25 lakh candidates appeared for the examination, many of them graduate or postgraduate degree holders, it said.
More than two lakh candidates appeared for 1,137 vacancies for police constables in Mumbai. The basic qualification required was Class 12 but among those who applied were 543 post-graduates and 425 engineering graduates.
The editorial quoted a study by the Azim Premji University as saying that unemployment rate among the graduates was three times the national average of all unemployed.
It also found that unemployment among young and highly educated Indians was the highest in 20 years.
The CPI-M blamed the government policies for destruction of jobs, including the 2016 note ban which it quoted the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) as saying killed 35 lakh jobs.