Unemployment across Age Groups

Published: June 3, 2019

The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO) has put the unemployment rate at 6.1 per cent, a highest in 45 years.

Unemployment and Age Groups

  • There has been a marked shift in the unemployment pattern to higher age groups in a little over a decade.
  • The higher unemployment has shifted to the 20-24 and 25-29 age groups as against the 15-19 age group earlier as more people opting for higher education or willing to wait long to get their desired jobs.
  • The percentage share of unemployed rural males rose to 43.2 per cent in the 20-24 age group in 2017-18 from 38 per cent in 2004-05 National Sample Survey (NSS) round of Employment-Unemployment Survey.
  • There was a sharp reduction in percentage share of unemployed males to 23.9 per cent in 2017-18, from 35.7 per cent in 2004-05 in the 15-19 age group.
  • The percentage share of unemployed rural females for the 20-24 age group increased to 47.33 per cent in 2017-18 from 36.9 per cent in 2004-05.
  • The percentage share of unemployed rural females rose to 25.41 per cent in 2017-18 from 22.6 per cent in 2004-05 for the 25-29 age group.
  • The percentage share of unemployed rural females saw a reduction to 12.7 per cent in 2017-18 from 18 per cent in 2004-05 for the 15-19 age group.

Education: A driver for pushing the age bracket?

  • According to the PLFS, the distribution of youth by activity status shows that 71.7 per cent of rural males in the 15-19 age group were enrolled as students in 2017-18, as against 57.3 per cent in 2004-05.
  • Also, the share of students in the 20-24 group has also increased with 26.1 per cent of rural males in 2017-18 as against 16.6 per cent in 2004-05.
  • 64.1 per cent of females in the 15-19 age group have reported being students in 2017-18 as against 47.1 per cent in 2004-05.

Hence Education is said to have played a key role in shifting the unemployment rates to higher age brackets.

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