Chennai: By next year Tamil Nadu will have one crore job seekers registered with the state employment exchange. As on date, 89 lakh job seekers are awaiting government jobs and by 2018 it will increase by another 15 lakh, highly placed informed sources said, adding that every year the state has been generating a meagre 12,000 to 15,000 direct jobs and one lakh indirect jobs. The irony is that both unemployment and loss of jobs in the private sector are increasing in small and medium-sized industries, confirmed official sources admitting that there are no concrete data available on the subject with the state labour and industries department.
Outsourcing of jobs in government sectors, privatisation of all civic works by local bodies coupled have also robbed youngsters of job opportunities in state government sectors, but the major reason for unemployment is due to the policies of the Central government and technological advancements, sources said. As of March 2017, there were 81,30,025 registrants and the number of registrants within the working age group of 18 to 57 years was 61 lakhs. Of this, the major chunk is below 25 years of age.
According to state official sources during 2016-17, 5, 802 job seekers were absorbed in state government through employment offices and 20,778 job seekers were placed in various private sectors through job fairs by the state government, sources added.
However, a top official clarified that not all those who had registered with employment exchanges are jobless. More than 40 percent are employed, but their eye on government sector jobs.
“There are two major aspects of employment. First unemployment, which is under-reported in government records and visible. Second, underpaid employment like the cases of those who work in toll plazas, petrol bunks and eatouts for a paltry income. While figures estimate that close to one crore people are seeking a job, the actual numbers will be higher”, opines the veteran trade union leader A. Soundarajan of CITU. According to the former MLA, the major reason for the employment crisis is due to the Centre’s policies that promote foreign trade crushing small and tiny sectors in the Indian states.
In terms of Tamil Nadu, the state as to date has more than three lakh state government vacancies and this needs to be filled. Further, at least 20 per cent of the total population is under stress due to employment issues and there is no action plans from both the centre and the state to address the issue, he alleged.
“Tamil Nadu is a pioneer in terms of education, but it has failed to develop the skills that are essential for a graduate. Most of the young graduates pass out without skills. Particularly communication skill is an issue even among engineering graduates who passed out from top TN colleges,” said Surekha Raj, founder – director, Skylark HR Solutions.
Another important issue that is affecting the IT, BPO, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors are laid off due to the economic slowdown, this again has marginally reduced the hiring spree of companies in all south Indian cities including Chennai, Ms Surekha added.
What state is doing to its job seekers
- Unemployment assistance is provided to registered unemployed youth with the objective to support them financially, purchase applications for competitive exams and take up skill courses. The eligibility conditions include, waiting on the live register of employment offices for five years subject to conditions like age limit and income. The annual income criteria for eligibility is `50,000 and maximum age limit is 40 years for others and 45 years for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.
- The unemployment assistance is given for a period of three years and the amount is credited quarterly in the bank account of beneficiaries. The government had increased the unemployment assistance by 100 percent with effect from February, 2017. During 2016-17, a sum of Rs 16.66 crore was disbursed to 54,821 beneficiaries.
- Differently abled job seekers waiting on the live registers of the employment offices for one year are given unemployment assistance for ten years. There is no restriction on parental income and age. The unemployment assistance per month is Rs 600/- for illiterate upto SSLC 90 passed, Rs 750/- for HSC and Rs 1,000/- for Graduates. During 2016-17, a sum of `.20.39 Crore was disbursed to 23,030 beneficiaries.
Long wait for differently-abled job seekers
- In 2016-17, a total of 13,62,982 job seekers have registered their qualifications in employment offices, out of which 12,19,570 are students with 10th and 12th qualification who registered online from their schools.
- Mega job fairs were conducted at 18 districts from 2011 to May 2017 and during this period 1,79,350 job seekers were placed in various private sectors.
- There are 1,20,905 differently abled job seekers waiting in the live register of employment offices out of which 93,719 are orthopedically 91 handicapped, 14,288 are visually challenged and 12,898 are hearing impaired.
- During 2016-17, the number of differently abled job seekers placed in government was 301 and in private sector was 714.