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ILO says 83% unemployed in India are youths, India raises objections

ISN Team
New Update
ILO says 83% unemployed in India are youths

Recently, the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a report suggesting that a staggering 83% of India's unemployed are youths.

This assertion has sparked significant controversy and led to formal objections from the Indian government, which has criticized both the methodology and the data interpretation used in the report.

India raises objections

Labour and Employment Secretary Sumita Dawra engaged in discussions with senior ILO officials, expressing India's concerns regarding the "India Employment Report 2024".


The report, which was reportedly prepared without the consultation of Indian authorities despite India's active involvement in ILO's country program, was particularly criticized for its timing and content amid India's general elections.

The Indian government challenged the report’s findings, highlighting inconsistencies and a lack of data on international mobility and the rapidly growing gig and platform work sectors.

Methodological discrepancies highlighted

The Indian government pinpointed methodological flaws in the ILO report, particularly its reliance on two different data sets—the Employment-Unemployment Survey (EUS) and the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)—which are not comparable due to their distinct sampling methods. Furthermore, the government criticized the extrapolation of data from a period (2012-2017) when no surveys were conducted, calling into question the accuracy of the report’s claims.

Countering the data on youth unemployment

Contrary to the ILO's report, the Indian government cited its own statistics, which show that the youth unemployment rate was significantly lower, at just 5% in 2022, down from 7% in 2019.

Moreover, it argued that many young people classified as unemployed are actually students or engaged in domestic duties, and therefore should not be considered unemployed in the traditional sense.