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The Changing World of Work and No-Work

Mukherjee, Dipa (2003): The Changing World of Work and No-Work. Published in: Indian Journal of Labour Economics , Vol. 46, No. 4 (2003)

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Inadequate utilisation of available manpower is a perennial problem in India, with Open Unemployment (OU) being a major evil. Two other issues that have often been sidelined are Lack of Regular employment (Underemployment or Semi-Open Unemployment SOU), and Lack of Adequate Returns from jobs (incidence of poverty among more or less regular workers or Non-Employment NE). The present paper explores both National and Regional aspects of these issues, their trends and patterns, and also their various correlates. Four NSSO Surveys (1983-84, 1987-88, 1993-94, 1999-2000) are considered. This enables us to consider movements during 1993-99 as Post-Reform trends. The results indicate increased casualisation and polarisation of workforce in the post-reforms era. These are also closely associated with socio-economic inequality and decline in living standards. Policies like growth impetus, flexible technology, infrastructural expansion and public expenditure programme will go a long way in solving these problems.

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