India can become the 3rd largest economy by 2027 and even the 2nd largest by 2075, surpassing the US.

But hold on! Isn’t it very soon to celebrate? Here’s a truth, a fact, or, you can say, a reality, that we are not yet ready to accept. The increasing youth unemployment!

66% of India’s population (that’s 808 million people) is under the age of 35. Now, that’s a huge number of young, talented people, and a great opportunity for the country to grow its economy with multitalented and skilled youths in this competitive world.

But something is wrong here!

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In India, while the economy was growing fast, youth unemployment increased significantly between 2011–12 and 2021–22—nearly doubling.

After the Covid pandemic, the unemployment rate is over 42% among young graduates under 25 years of age. That’s way higher than those who finished high school (21.4%), secondary school (18.1%), middle school (15%), and others, according to a report published by Azim Premji University.

The unemployment rate is higher for those with higher levels of education. That’s not what you’d expect, right?

So, why are there more young people without jobs? There are a few big reasons:

Better Education: More young folks are getting educated, which sounds great, but it also means they want better jobs. As education levels improve, this will continue to be a major source of unemployment, as they don’t want to settle for low-skilled work.

Pandemic Trouble: Many people lost their jobs during the pandemic, and it forced workers to switch to agriculture or self-employment in order to survive.

High Hopes but Low Pay: Some young people have high aspirations, but their wage demands are not being met. They are not able to find jobs based on their skills.

So, it’s a mix of education, pandemic problems, high expectations, not getting the right jobs, and more.

Let’s talk about gender trends:

The report also shows that as the husband’s earnings rise, the wife is less likely to work. There has also been a huge intergenerational effect on gender norms.

In families where the mother-in-law is employed, more women tend to work, especially in urban areas (70%) compared to rural areas (50%). However, if the mother-in-law is not employed, 20% of women are likely to get employed in urban areas as compared to 30% in rural areas.

Now, about the big problem of unemployment among educated young people, we can’t solve it with old solutions like MNREGA. What we really need is for policymakers to step up. They need to educate, train, and prepare the youth to turn this youth population into a source of capital to become valuable assets for the country.

What do you think are the other reasons and solutions for increasing youth unemployment?

Written By Shivani Singh

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