With jobs as one of the main focal points in the upcoming Lok Sabha 2019 elections, many have asked the question – "Where are the jobs?"

In early 2019, it was reported that the unemployment rate has gone up to 7.2 per cent, which according to Business Insider, is the highest since September 2016. 

Oxfam India released a sobering report - 'Mind the Gap - State of Employment in India' which showed that India has a wide gender gap in the employment patterns in the country. 

"Despite the rhetoric of job creation and ensuring gender justice, the ground reality is sobering. The report draws particular attention to women being left out of the economic growth narrative, a consequence of poor policy choices and lack of investment in social security and infrastructure," Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar was quoted as saying by Times of India.

The report said one of the reasons for this trend in employment is because of demonetisation. The TOI report says that after demonetisation in2016, the number of households with two or more working person dropped by a considerable margin. According to reports, January to October 2016 had 34.8 per cent households with two or more people working. However, after the announcement, the numbers dropped to 31.8 per cent. It was reported that more women saw a majority of job losses compared to men.

Caste factor in employment

Manual scavenger
A labourer cleans an underground sewer.REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma

The Oxfam report presents a gloomy picture of Indian social realities where caste continues to be one of the biggest factors that determine a job he or she has to do. The report added that more jobs were generated in the unorganised sector than the organised sector. For example, women from the Mahadalit community predominantly act as midwives and help with childbirth. The report continues to portray how discrimination exists within these communities. The rich Baniyas have their own shops while those belonging to the lower strata work in taboo jobs such as rag-picking, in the leather industry and sanitation. Sanitation includes cleaning of sewers, a dangerous job which has killed many in the recent past.

Economic disparities when it comes to jobs

The report also reveals that students part of the state board education system do not perform as well as those studying in the nationalized board which help the richer school which many can't afford.

"National Achievement Survey found students from state education boards do considerably worse than those of independent national boards that cater to the richer, better schools. Even within the public education system, there are glaring inequalities in educational investment. Government sponsored Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) spend Rs 27,000 per student whereas non KV government schools spend a mere Rs 3000 per student," the report says.