Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

India Employment Landscape: Insights from the ILO-IHD Report 2024


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: ILO, India Employment Report 2024

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

According to the India Employment Report 2024 released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD), India’s youth account for almost 83% of the unemployed workforce.

About the International Labour Organization (ILO)


  • The ILO is a UN agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards.
  • Founded in 1919 under the League of Nations (under Treaty of Versailles) it is the first and oldest specialised agency of the UN.
  • India was one of the founding members of the ILO, joining the organization in 1919.
  • The ILO has 187 member states: 186 out of 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands.
  • Its international labour standards are broadly aimed at ensuring accessible, productive, and sustainable work worldwide in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity.
  • The Governing body is the apex executive body of the ILO which decides policies, programmes, agenda, budget and elects the Director-General.
  • It meets 3 times a year, in March, June and November.
  • ILO has received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.


Major Conventions of the ILO:

  • Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
  • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105)
  • Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100)
  • Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)
  • Minimum Age Convention (No.138)
  • Worst forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182)
  • Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organised Convention (No.87)
  • Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention (No.98)


Highlights of the India Employment Report 2024:

  1. Labour Market Dynamics
  • Long-Term Deterioration: The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR), and the Unemployment Rate (UR) showed a long-term deterioration between 2000 and 2018, but witnessed an improvement after 2019.
  • Education Impact: The share of youngsters with secondary or higher education in the total unemployed youth has almost doubled from 35.2% in 2000 to 65.7% in 2022, indicating a significant shift in educational qualifications among job seekers.
  1. Challenges and Insecurities
  • Informal Workforce: Almost 90% of workers remain engaged in informal work, while the share of regular work declined after 2018, leading to widespread livelihood insecurities.
  • Contractualisation: There has been a rise in contractualisation, with only a small percentage of regular workers covered by long-term contracts, exacerbating job insecurities.
  1. Skills Gap and Gender Disparities
  • Skills Deficiency: Despite being a demographic dividend, the report notes a skills gap among India’s young workforce, with a significant percentage unable to perform basic digital tasks or mathematical operations.
  • Gender Gap: India faces substantial gender disparities in the labour market, with low rates of female labour force participation and high levels of unemployment among highly educated young women.



2018: International Labour Organization’s Conventions 138 and 182 are related to:

  1. Child labour
  2. Adaptation of agricultural practices to global climate change
  3. Regulation of food prices and food security
  4. Gender parity in the workplace

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