In early January, we saw reports about India facing a five-decade high job loss crisis with 11 million Indians losing their jobs in 2018 and unemployment rate rising steadily. 

Pro Bono Australia

This time around a report published by Azim Premji University, Bengaluru reveals that during the period of demonetization in 2016 and GST introduction subsequently, more than 5 million jobs were lost.


The report clarifies though that no direct cause and effect relationship could be ascertained. However, as per lead researcher, Prof Amit Basole:

“Apart from demonetisation and GST, as far as informal economy is concerned, I don’t see any other reasons.”
Inc 42

The Centre for Sustainable Employment carried out the research which found out that the ‘informal sector’ was most severely hit by this job loss impacting people from the most vulnerable sections of society.

Prof. Amit Basole, also said:

This is a net figure and therefore, whatever jobs may have been added elsewhere, there have been enough jobs lost… Particularly given that we have been seeing what appears to be a strong GDP growth. So, in this case, to end up with net job losses is not a good thing. We should be seeing a workforce increase rather than decrease.

The decline, particularly in labour force participation rate (LFPR) and work participation rate (WPR), has been driven by less-educated men in urban and rural areas.


The report did not include information for women for the lack of reliable data available. However, as per ToI, among urban women, 34% are unemployed and only 10% of graduates make up the working population.

The report also unveiled that the overall unemployment was 6% in 2018, double of that between 2000 and 2011.