The Economic Survey for the year 2018 brings a little life to the government’s efforts which have long been facing criticism from several sections of the society after growing unemployment cast a shadow on the government’s electoral promise made in 2014. The document also states that “India’s formal sector non-farm payroll is substantially greater than currently believed.” It also states that with the introduction of GST and making all the government data digital has given them a chance to make some initial estimates regarding formal employment.
The document has defined formal employment in two definitions, one who are getting social security benefits and others in a tax net view. In and all the survey concludes that presently 22 crore people are employed in the nation. With respect to the aspect of social security, data collected by Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) and Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) was employed. This means that tier-2 cities such as Mumbai have seen an increase in job opportunities. Already people from the surrounding rural come to the city in search of jobs in Mumbai. The social security definition states 6 crore people are employed and add to this 1.5 crore people employed by various government agencies. This 1.5 crore number yet doesn’t count the armed forces. And according to 68th Round (2011) of the NSSO Employment-Unemployment Survey, about 24 crore people are estimated to be working for non-agricultural purposes.
Things look quite cheerful if looked from tax perspective angle as the data from GST is readily available, one can consider a tax formality as the number of firms which have registered themselves under GST. Thus, 12.7 crore people are estimated to fall under the formal non-farm payroll. This means a total of 53% non-agricultural workers hail from the formal sector. Since not all firms which have registered under GST may fall under formal category and many have registered just to claim tax credits under GST. And given that many sectors including health and education haven’t been considered, the survey considers the actual numbers to be quite high.
The cheerful news is that the survey points out that finding employment is now not as difficult as it used to be and the young people searching for good jobs will attain their target with fewer hurdles. All this means that things are slowly returning to track and people living in less urban cities will find it easier to find jobs. And those coming from surrounding areas in search of Jobs in Mumbai will find it easy to look for a new job.