Archana, a native of Telangana’s Medak district, graduated in 2017 in the science stream with distinction, which the 22-year-old thought was good enough to land her a moderately well-paying job. A few months later she was working as a “domestic help”, her dreams long broken by the harsh reality of India’s dismal job scenario. Her brother, four years older and also a graduate, was also into odd jobs—a delivery boy for Swiggy or part-time driver. Archana hopes to complete her post-graduation which she feels could give her a better chance at landing a job. Any job.
An individual is not representative of job-seekers in a country where there are millions. But held against recently leaked data on the number of unemployed, Archana becomes a stark reminder of a growing crisis—India’s unemployment rate in the year ending June 2018 supposedly rose to 6.1 per cent, the highest in 45 years (see graphic). What it means is that the available jobs can provide employment to hardly 10-15 per cent of the millions of young Indians ready to enter the labour force each year.