Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 343

Socio-Economic Determinants of Educated
Unemployment in India

Indrajit Bairagya



Despite the presence of a large volume of sub-standard informal employment in India, the economy is not free from a perennial unemployment problem. As per the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) Data, the unemployment rate is more among the educated (secondary and above) persons as compared to those whose education level is lower. This paper, using different rounds of NSSO data, seeks to explore the socio-economic and regional factors responsible for educated unemployment in India. We find that possessing technical education byitself doesn’t necessarily guarantee employment which, in fact, questions the rationale behind the present Indian government’s initiative to promote technical education on a large scale. Although high-industrialised states account for low educated unemployment rates, these states are also unable to engage all educated people in the production process. Moreover, since the number of unemployed is higher for both the educated and uneducated people among those who are not registered with employment exchanges, search and matching problem may also be an important reason for educated unemployment in India. Besides, differences have been found across social groups, gender, religions, regions and other socio-economic characteristics.


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