The problem of unemployment has been chronic, intractable and explosive. Any employment policy must include both quantitative and qualitative aspect of the employment problem. This implies that the essentials of employment policy must include the increase in work participation rate, rapid expansion of employment opportunities and improvement in the productivity of the employed. The prerequisites or essentials of the employment policy are as under.
1) Increased Production:
It is the key element of the employment policy. In almost all our five year plans emphasis has been· laid on the creation of additional employment. Between 1972-73 and 1987-88, employment has grown at the rate of 2.21 % annually. But the GDP growth rate has been around 3.5% to 4.5% annually. Increased production or nation income should be the important element of our employment policy. It will have direct impact on poverty, the greatest malady and polluter of our economy.
2) Priority on Fuller and more productive Employment:
The employment policy should aim at expanding the volume of employment. It means that there should be higher participation of the labour force in different activities. As a result, employment will be more productive. It will generate larger output per person per year. To increase labour productivity steps should be taken for the education of labourers. This qualitative improvement should not be lost sight of.
3) Appropriate Production Technique:
The employment policy should be such as to maximize labour employment without sacrificing rapid growth. Both labour intensive and capital intensive techniques have their respective merits and demerits. India is a country where labour is plenty but capital is scanty. Adoption of labour intensive, technique will promote employment but will retard growth. Adoption of capital intensive technique will promote growth but will retard employment expansion. Hence all developing economics like India are in a dilemma. Prof. E.F. Schumachar in his book ‘Small is beautiful’ has suggested an intermediate technique for underdeveloped economies.This is a compromise between labour intensive and capital intensive techniques. This technique maximizes labour employment.
4) Population control:
Control of population explosion should bean important element of employment policy in India. There is huge backlog of unemployment in India. Population explosion overcrowds agriculture of India. This leads to disguised unemployment. All steps should be taken to make the family planning programme successful. This will enable the government to solve the problem of unemployment.
5) Revamping the Education System:
The Education system in India is mainly unproductive. It is mostly theoretical. Unemployment among the educated youth is a cause of serious concern in India: It is in favour of general education and not of technical and vocational education. Educated unemployment gives rise to crime, prostitution, juvenile delinquency etc. It. leads to penury, misery and vagrancy and other vices. It encourages corruption, dishonesty, falsehood, gambling and gangsterism, moral turpitude and degradation. The employment policy should be such as to provide employment to the educated youth. The number of educated unemployed has increased from 5.9 lakhs in 1961 to 224 lakhs in 1991.
6) Manpower planning:
Manpower planning is indispensable with a view to solving the problem of unemployment. Hence economic planning should be integrated with manpower planning. There are excess supply of skilled labour in certain sectors and shortages in other sectors. The vast supply of unskilled illiterate labourers are outside the manpower planning. The employment policy should take manpower planning into consideration. Population control should be an inseparable element of manpower planning.
7) Emphasis on small scale and cottage industries:
The employment objective and the output objective do not appear to be in conflict but can be harmoniously reconciled if greater investment is directed to small enterprises rather than to large enterprises. Cottage and small scale industries are capital-light, skill-light, import-light, quick yielding, noninflationary and labour intensive. They create employment opportunities and are sources of subsidiary employment. But their role is complementary not competitive with heavy industry. The development of these industries will make work for the’ unemployed, more work for the underemployed and supplementary work for the seasonally unemployed.
8) Tracking seasonal, fictional and technological unemployment:
Unemployment found in rural areas in the slack season of agricultural operations is called seasonal unemployment. Assured irrigation facilities multiple cropping, short duration crops, expansion of animal husbandry, diary farming, horticulture poultry, sericulture, goatery piggery, pisciculture, afforestation and conservation of soil etc should be taken up to reduce the incidence of seasonal unemployment during the slack season. Technological unemployment is due to the employment of modem techniques to save labour. Frictional unemployment is due to the breakdown of machines, immobility of labour and shortage of raw materials etc. The employment policy should be such as to solve the problem of technological and frictional unemployment.
9) Employment for women:
Women share only 14.1 % of employment to total employment. Women labour force participation rate in rural areas is 33.1 % and in urban areas it is 16.2%. Only a meagre 6.60% of women of the total employed are employed in government jobs. The progress of women employment has been very slow. 94% of working women are in the unorganized sectors. Women education should be given top priority. Women labourers should be paid fair wages. The organized sector should give greater share to women in its total employment programme. Training facilities should be provided to them in order to improve their productive capacity. Residential accommodation for working mothers, medical facilities, maternity leave and child care facilities should be emphasized. Therefore, while considering a prospective employment policy, the problem of women employment should be given due significance.
10) Self Employment:
The employment policy should be such as to enthuse and encourage self employment. In advanced countries self employment constitutes only a limited percentage of the labour force (less than 30%) In India it was 55.0% in 1993-94. The largest percentage of self-employment is engaged in agriculture and allied activities as big, small and marginal farmers. Self employment is also seen in collage and small industries. retail trade, transport and personal service. It is not possible t0 provide employment to all in the organized sector in a vast continental economy like India, The problem of unemployment in India is very acute. In the circumstances, the satisfactory solution of the problem is the adequate facilities of self employment to the continuously growing labour force. The number of the self employed is more than 50%. They have low level of income. They are poverty stricken. Hence they deserve special attention in the national employment policy. The weaker sections like SC and ST, women and the poor should be given preferential treatment. Proper training and encouragement should be given to the young educated entrepreneurs. The Government should provide easy and timely credit and marketing facilities to the self-employed persons. The Government must see that funds meant for the purpose is properly utilized.
11) Avoidance of special employment programmes:
Often it is seen that special employment programmes appear attractive and fruitful from the view of political considerations. When these programmes are implemented, they produce jobs where labour becomes unproductive or less productive. Again funds deployed in these programmes tend to be embezzled and defalcated. Moreover, the volume of permanent employment in those programmes tends to be less compared to the amount of capital invested there in. Contrarily, increasing investment in income yielding projects like irrigation, flood control, hydroelectricity generation, rural electrification, soil conservation, afforestation, cottage and small industries etc. will create more permanent employment in future. The national employment policy makers must take this into consideration.