The Dynamic Nature of Jobless Growth in India

  • Vinoj AbrahamEmail author


India had been arguably experiencing ‘jobless growth’ since the early 1990s. This period, nevertheless, has witnessed an accelerated structural change in output wherein a service-centric growth has emerged, eclipsing the agriculture-based growth. Accompanying this transformation in output, the industrial structure of employment also has undergone a transformation whereby the share of agricultural employment has gradually declined. This chapter argues that jobless growth in India could perhaps be understood better within broad contours of structural transformation. Jobless growth in a developing country is a dynamic process of job creation, destruction, relocation and labour market tightening, rather than a mere stagnation of employment growth. Using NSSO data and KLEMS database from 1993–94 to 2011–12, evidence is provided towards inter-sectoral growth differences owing to structural transformation and withdrawal of surplus labour owing to transformation, along with capital labour substitution as the underlying factors that manifest as jobless growth in India.


Jobless growth Structural transformation India Female labour participation 



I acknowledge with thanks the research assistance provided by Chacko Babu for this chapter. All errors are mine.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Associate Professor, Centre for Development StudiesThiruvananthapuramIndia

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