Unemployment rate rises, engineers are jobless

Most engineering students end up taking up marketing and finance jobs.

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Not only has India’s unemployment rate risen (from 5.9 per cent in February last year, to 7.2 per cent in February this year), it appears that engineers lack jobs in this country. Many engineering students who take huge loans to finish their courses end up struggling to pay them back because they do not get jobs. Quite a few are forced to take up marketing and finance jobs too. The reason could be the increasing automation coupled with the huge number of youth that gets added to the lot of job seekers in the market. Also, regulations seem to be too complicated and unsupportive of those from outside who wish to establish their businesses in the country.

Data gathered by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) from household surveys reveals that the manufacturing sector is neither creating jobs nor growing as expected owing to lack of land and labour reforms. Around 31.2 million people were hunting for jobs last month.

The unemployment may also be the result of the fact that it is not just cheap labour that is in demand, but skilled labour. Also, technological innovations can happen and productivity can increase only if there is better infrastructure and a skilled talent pool to use it.

There is paucity of skilled engineering and technology graduates. It is reported that the majority of engineers that pass out of the engineering colleges in the country are not employable! The engineering students who come from rural areas lack appropriate English-speaking skills, which also works against them in the job market.

While earlier the IT sector was relied on by youth from the middle class for jobs, with artificial intelligence (AI) and robots taking over the modern workplaces, jobs have reduced drastically there too. Jobs have dwindled even in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, which was once the greatest employer of youth. It was reported by NASSCOM that in April to March (2017-18), the BPOs of the country hired the least number of freshers in the past seven years.

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