Chief Minister Narendra Modi last week tweeted that Gujarat was the number one state in the country in providing employment through state-run employment exchanges. However, the latest figures from the state government show there are close to 9 lakh registered unemployed in Gujarat and the numbers have been steadily rising.
As on December 29, 2011, there were 8.98 lakh unemployed youth registered in different employment exchanges in the state. Of this, 2.59 lakh were women and 6.39 lakh men, according to figures given in the Assembly by Labour and Employment Minister Vajubhai Vala in response to a question in the state Assembly on July 19.
In December 2010, the number of registered unemployed in the government records were 8.91 lakh. The figures in December 2009 and 2008 were 8.88 lakh and 8.25 lakh, respectively.
This figures reflect the employment status of only those who have registered themselves with the state as “unemployed”. Many youths, who are illiterate or semi-literate, do not register themselves with employment exchanges.
A senior official from the labour and employment department said that compared to other states, state-run employment exchanges in Gujarat were more effective but there was a need to expand the ambit of registration to reach out to maximum number of unemployed youths.
During the fifth edition of VGGIS in January 2011, the state government had claimed to have signed memorandums of understanding worth Rs 20.83 lakh crore that would generate employment for 52 lakh persons.
However, government data reveal only 3.92 lakh and 3.93 lakh persons got employment in 2010 and 2011, respectively.