Urban Employment Programmes
Urban Employment Programmes have been emerging as a response to the crisis of employment faced in Indian urban areas. The quantity of jobs being generated has been inadequate, as the following statistics indicate. Employment trends highlight an urban unemployment rate of 6.6 percent, accompanied by a 23.4 percent unemployment rate for youth urban females and 15.9 percent for youth urban males (PLFS Rate of Unemployment, April – June 23)i . New research by Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment (CSE) notes that over 42 percent of India’s graduates under 25 were unemployed in 2021-2022.
In addition, the quality of employment has been poor, especially for most workers in the informal economy that have experienced stagnant real wage growth over the past decade. These are not new trends. Urban vulnerabilities precede the COVID-19 pandemic which exposed and exacerbated existing fault lines as well as inadequate and patchwork systems of urban social protectioniii. By social protection, we mean both universal safety nets for food, old age pension, health, education, and housing as well as work-based protections and entitlements that improve the quality of work.