While some may debate the notion that India’s growth has been jobless, few would dispute the fact that the Indian economy is not creating enough good jobs to absorb the approximately 5-7 million that enter the labor force every year. When it comes to India’s labor market, the need to generate millions of new jobs isn’t the only challenge. Equally pressing is the need to improve the quality of work and livelihoods of those that are trapped in low-productivity work, in poor, and sometimes exploitative, working conditions.
Despite these shortcomings, jobs have yet to enjoy the same treatment as other indicators of economic health. Politicians, policy makers, practitioners and the private sector place a disproportionate emphasis on metrics such as GDP, or on indices that measure competitiveness and the Ease of Doing Business, as proxies for economic opportunity. The assumption is that if an economy generates economic growth, the good jobs will come. Yet perhaps they look to these imperfect measures alone because they lack a tool for analyzing performance on the economic indicator that matters most to ordinary people: jobs.
It is within this context that the JustJobs Network proposes developing a JustJobs Index (JJI) – a comprehensive, data-driven approach to measuring the quantity and quality of jobs at the State level for India. This index will follow a similar methodology to the one JJN has developed for its global index. However, the list of indicators in constructing a State-level JJI for India will vary based on the context in India and the availability of data.
The index is being developed in collaboration with the Azim Premji University and will be released in the fall of 2018.