GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to Development and Employment
Context: The ILO Monitor on the World of Work database provides access to several of the indicators related to the labour market.
Uneven impact of the poly-crisis (simultaneous occurrence of several catastrophic events):
- The war in Ukraine, effects of COVID-19 pandemic, have resulted in the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, especially in developing countries.
- Countries face a trade-off in managing expected inflation, exchange rate movements, debt sustainability and economic activity.
- Various global shocks and risks are holding back labour market recovery, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Unemployment and the jobs gap: Global unemployment is likely to return to the pre-pandemic level in 2023.
Highlights of the ILO Monitor (11th edition):
- In 2023, the global jobs gap (periods during one’s professional career when s/he did not have secure, formal employment) is projected to stand at 453 million people (11.7%), more than double the level of unemployment.
- Low-income countries in debt distress face a jobs gap of 25.7% in 2023.
- Some countries are facing complex and cascading crises, like natural disasters (e.g. the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syrian Arab Republic), which interact with broader global challenges and exacerbate labour market impacts.
- Significant social protection policy gaps remain in developing countries, especially in low-income countries, including in regard to old-age pensions.
- Only 38.6% of older persons in lower middle-income countries receive an old-age pension.
Case of India: Unemployment rate declined sharply in 2021 and 2022, falling to 4.8%, which is almost 2 percentage points below its level of 2019 (6.5%).
Some of the labour reforms in India:
- Labour falls under the Concurrent List of the Constitution.
- The central government replaced the 29 existing labour laws with four Codes. These Codes regulate: (i) Wages, (ii) Industrial Relations, (iii) Social Security, and (iv) Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions.
- eShram: This portal will help build a comprehensive National Database of Unorganised Workers (NDUW) in the country.
- PM Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM): Meant for old age protection and social security of Unorganised workers.
- Aam Admi Bima Yojana: Providing social security to unorganised sector workers.
- Building a national social protection floor: For example, by expanding basic old-age pensions in developing countries.
- This will act as a catalyst for inclusive sustainable development and decent jobs.
- Policies and financial support: To build resilience and overcome the global employment divide.
- Build global financial resources: The UN Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection, and the Global Coalition for Social Justice can play a positive role here.
ILO’s 4-pillar policy framework: