Monday, October 28, 2013

Jobless, hapless in Ludhiana

LUDHIANA: A National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) survey has bad news for policy makers, corporates and residents in general. It states the rate of unemployment rose sharply in Agra, Ludhiana and Meerut in the five-year period ending 2009-10. However, the overall rate has come down in cities and towns of the country, a government study said.

The study rates Ludhiana third, after Patna and Kanpur in terms of large scale unemployment. Earlier, data on unemployment took into account different communities. Now, it is based on the difference between male and female employment.

The study stated the NSSO survey covered more than 7,402 villages and 5,252 urban blocks spread over 1,00,957 households (59,129 in rural areas and 41,828 in urban areas) and enumerating 4,59,784 persons (2,81,327 in rural areas and 1,78,457 in urban areas).

Ludhiana, considered a manufacturing hub, witnessed a sharp jump in the unemployment rate, from 1.2% in 2004-05 to 6.3% in 2009-10 along with Agra, where it rose from 2% in 2004-05 to 5.5% in 2009-10. Data released by NSSO showed there is a large unemployed population.

Highest increase in joblessness was registered in Chennai with 17 percentage points, followed by Ludhiana at 14 percentage points between 2004-05 and 2009-10. According to experts unemployment could be attributed to migration of people from other states in search of jobs and reluctance of people to stay and work in the city in their quest to go abroad.

\"People here generally want to move abroad, which is increasing the rate of unemployment in the city. Moreover, if industries are getting more efficient, people from other states will avail opportunities, leaving little for those who are in Punjab or Ludhiana,\" said Vikas Narang, a businessman from Rajguru Nagar. Patna recorded the highest unemployment rate in India among males in 2009-10 in cities with a population of more than one million, while Bhopal witnessed the sharpest decline.

Gaurav Lekhi, a businessman from Dugri, feels unemployment is caused by a variety of factors. \"If we take a look at the cases, there could be three reasons why unemployment among males is on rise. There\'s economic slowdown, expensive labor and diminishing demand of labor in industries.\" An official survey revealed that unemployment rate during the five year period ending 2009-10 has fallen from 3.8% to 2.8% in cities and towns. The survey by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) also showed the unemployment rate among women rose to 5.6% in 2009-10 from 4.3% in 2004-05 in cities. The unemployment rate among males remained stagnant at 3.4% in 2009-10 compared to 2004-05.

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