Unemployment is another major problem of Rural India. Since India is basically a country of villages, therefore unemployment is a serious evil of Rural Society. Because 80 percent India’s total population live in villages and unemployment problem in India is basically rural by nature. Unemployment is a state of worklessness for a man who is fit for work.

When a person is failed to get any job and unable to found the means of livelihood, we call him an unemployed person. Thus, unemployment means lack of absence of employment. In other word unemployment is largely concerned with those persons who constitute the labor force of the country, who are able bodied and willing to work, but they are gainfully employed. Unemployment, therefore, is the lack of earning or idleness on the part of a person who is able to work.

Definition of Unemployment:

Different persons have been defined unemployment in different ways. The important definitions of unemployment are as follows:

According to Gillin and Gillin “unemployment is a condition in which a person able and willing to work normally, dependent upon his earning to provide the necessities of life for himself and family in unable to obtain gainful employment:


Karl Pibrain defines “unemployment is a condition of the labour market in which the supply of labour power is greater than the number of available openings.”

In the words of Fairchild “unemployment is forced and involuntary separation from remunerative work on the part of the normal wages and normal conditions.”

Sergeant Florence says “unemployment has been defined as the idleness of persons able to work.”

Types of Unemployment:

As unemployment is a universal problem and is found in every country more or less, therefore, it is categorised into a number of types. The chief among them are stated below:


1) Structural unemployment:

Basically India’s unemployment is structural in nature. It is associated with the inadequacy of productive capacity to create enough jobs for all those able and willing to work. In India not only the productive capacity much below the needed quantity, it is also found increasing at a slow rate. As against this, addition to labour force is being made at a first rate on account of the rapidly growing population. Thus, while new productive jobs are on the increase, the rate of increasing being low the absolute number of unemployed persons is rising from year to year.

2) Disguised unemployment:

Disguised unemployment implies that many workers are engaged in productive work. For example, in Indian villages, where most of unemployment exists in this form, people are found to be apparently engaged in agricultural works. But such employment is mostly a work sharing device i.e., the existing work is shared by the large number of workers. In such a situation, even if many workers are withdrawn, the same work will continue to be done by fewer people.


It follows that all the workers arte not needed to maintain the existing level of production. The contribution of such workers to production is nothing. It is found that the very large numbers of workers on Indian farms actually hinder agricultural works and thereby reduce production.

3) Cyclical unemployment:

Cyclical unemployment in caused by the trade or business cycles. It results from the profits and loss and fluctuations in the deficiency of effective demand production is slowed down and there is a general state of depression which causes unemployment periods of cyclical unemployment is longer and it generally affects all industries to a greater or smaller extent.

4) Seasonal unemployment:


Seasonal unemployment occurs at certain seasons of the year. It is a widespread phenomenon of Indian villages basically associated with agriculture. Since agricultural work depends upon Nature, therefore, in a certain period of the year there is heavy work, while in the rest, the work is lean. For example, in the sowing and harvesting period, the agriculturists may to engage themselves day and night.

But the period between the post harvest and pre sowing is almost workless, rendering many without work. Thus, seasonal unemployment is largely visible after the end of agricultural works.

5) Underemployment:

Underemployment usually refers to that state in which the self employed working people are not working according to their capacity. For example, a diploma holder in engineering, if for wants of an appropriate job, start any business may be said to be underemployed. Apparently, he may be deemed as working and earning in a productive activity and in this sense contributing something to production.


But in reality he is not working to his capability, or to his full capacity. He is, therefore, not full employed. This type of unemployment is mostly visible in urban areas.

6) Open Unemployment:

Open unemployment is a condition in which people have no work to do. They are able to work and are also willing to work but there is no work for them. They are found partly in villages, but very largely in cities. Most of them come form villages in search of jobs, many originate in cities themselves. Such employment can be seen and counted in terms of the number of such persons.

Hence it is called upon unemployment. Open unemployment is to be distinguished from disguised unemployment and underemployment in that while in the case of former unemployment workers are totally idle, but in the latter two types of unemployment they appear to be working and do not seem to be away their time.


7) Voluntary Unemployment:

Voluntary unemployment occurs when a working persons willingly withdraws himself from work. This type of unemployment may be caused due to a number of reasons. For example, one may quarrel with the employer and resign or one may have permanent source of unearned income, absentee workers, and strikers and so on. In voluntary unemployment, a person is out of job of his own desire. She does not work on the prevalent or prescribed wages. Either he wants higher wages or does not want to work at all.

8) Involuntary unemployment:

Involuntary unemployment occurs when at a particular time the number of worker is more than the number of jobs. Obviously this state of affairs arises because of the insufficiency or non availability of work. It is customary to characterise involuntary unemployment, not voluntary as unemployment proper.