India’s educated youth suffer as jobless rate hits 45-year high

NEW DELHI — India’s worst labor market in decades is taking an especially heavy toll on younger urbanites, making it imperative for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come up with effective job creation measures as he enters his second term.

The pace of job growth, particularly in manufacturing, has not kept pace with the increase in the population, which has climbed by 100 million over the past five years. Persistent unemployment is hurting consumer spending as well.

“I sent my resume to about 80 employers, got to interview with just two of them, and I didn’t get an offer from either,” said a 24-year-old alumnus of the University of Delhi, a prestigious public institution.


Many of the alum’s friends face a similar situation, he said. The 24-year-old has been looking for a job full-time since graduating, except for three months when he had an internship. 

Unemployment rose to 7.1% among the nation’s urban men in June 2018, as well as 5.8% for rural men, each up about 4 percentage points from the last survey six years earlier. Both figures are the highest in 45 years, the time frame for which data is available.


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