India faces a severe job shortage: UNDP

28 Apr 2016 | By Achin Garg

The United Nations Development Program (UNPD) in its latest Asia-Pacific Human Development Report has said that India faces a severe job shortage.

The job shortage is likely to grow over the next 35 years as India will add 280 million people to the working-age population.

The report presents a demographic profile of the Asia-Pacific nations and also presents solutions for policymakers.

In context: UNDP's Asia-Pacific Human Development Report

About What is the UNDP?

The United Nations Development Programme is a developmental agency of United Nations that works in 170 countries to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality and exclusion.

Established in 1965, UNDP is headquartered in New York.

UNDP provides expertise, training, and support to nations, to help them achieve their developmental goals.

It also publishes the Human Development Report annually which focuses on developmental issues.

Demographics Demographic profile of the Asia-Pacific region

In the latest Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, the UNDP has highlighted that the population of the region has tripled in the last 65 years and will touch 4.84 billion by 2050.

The region has a high working population which constitutes 58% of the global total.

Further, 68% of the population in the region lies in the working age with only 32% population as dependents.

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India ChinaIndia will have the highest working-age population

The report states that India will overtake China to become the most populous nation by 2022.

China and India together comprise 62% of the Asia-Pacific region's working-age population, with 1 billion and 860 million workers respectively.

However, China's share of the working age population has started to decline while that of India will continue to rise to peak at 1.1 billion in 2050.

Informal workforce: A challenge for India

The report highlights that it would be challenging for India to provide remunerative employment because of the large informal work sector which employs 84% of the workforce.

28 Apr 2016India faces a severe job shortage: UNDP

India added fewer jobs than required

Between 1991 and 2013, 300 million people entered the workforce in India while only 140 million jobs were created. This was mainly due to the service-led growth which has low employment intensity.
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Elderly Population of elderly to grow significantly

7 Asian nations- China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Japan, Philippines, and Indonesia- account for 47% of the elderly(60+) population.

The number in these 7 nations will rise to over half of the global share by 2050.

The population of the oldest old (80+) will quadruple from 59 million in 2015 to 246 million in 2050 and China, India, and Japan will contribute the highest numbers.

China's old age population will grow exponentially

While the proportion of old people will rise from present 9% to 19% by 2050 in India, the numbers in China will rise from 15% to 37% in 2050.

Prescription Ways to reap demographic dividends

The report outlines actions for sustainable development tailored to the demographic profile of each nation.

For nations such as India with large working-age populations, it calls for creating decent jobs to absorb the growing workforce, creating equal employment opportunities for women and exploring methods to turn savings into investments.

The report asks nations with young populations to invest in education, healthcare, vocational training, etc.