IN THE last five years, Gujarat has provided 13.95 lakh new jobs across 33 districts. Of these, only a paltry seven per cent were government jobs, states the data from the Labour and Employment department. Between July 2011 and June 2016, a total of 13,95,352 jobs were provided in the state, of which, only 90,290 were government jobs, while the remaining 13,05,062 jobs were provided by the private sector, states the data tabled in the Gujarat Assembly, during the recently-concluded Budget session. In these five years, the state’s industrialised districts accounted for a lion’s share of the job creation. For instance, in this five-year period, Ahmedabad clocked 1.90 lakh jobs, followed by Surat 1.44 lakh, Vadodara 1.30 lakh, Bharuch 1.29 lakh and Kutch 1.09 lakh.
Interestingly, the number of new jobs created in the last two years between July 2014 and June 2016 accounted for more than 51 per cent of the total jobs created in the entire five-year period. This two-year-period was the time when Anandiben Patel was at the helm of affairs in the state.
If the data between private and government jobs is broken down further, then the districts that provided the highest number of government jobs during the five-year period were Kutch (8,785 jobs), Jamnagar (8,930), Godhra (8,110) and Amreli (7,330). In the private sector, Ahmedabad (1.87 lakh), Vadodara (1.27 lakh) and Bharuch (1.25 lakh) topped the list of districts.
This data from the state government is yet to find mention in any of the public forums, especially in a year when the state assembly elections are due in Gujarat. According to the state government’s data, as on June 30, 2016, there are over 6.12 lakh educated-unemployed persons listed on the employment exchanges across Gujarat. In the last five years, only 65,097 of them (educated-unemployed) were provided with the government jobs. Most politicians and state officials argue that those listed on the exchanges are not necessarily unemployed and could be just looking for better opportunities. However, it is the perhaps the quality of job that worries a section of those employed in the state. For instance, the recent agitation by workers of the Tata Nano plant, near Ahmedabad, highlights the fact that some of them used to earn as low of Rs 13,000 per month even after six years of employment at the unit.
Recently, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had promised to open up 67,000 more government jobs in various departments of the state. He has also claimed to have provided 1.09 lakh jobs in various job fairs held across the state, a claim that the Opposition Congress party has described as a “bluff”. These job offers from the state comes at a time when different sections of the society in Gujarat have been agitating for the lack of job opportunities. This includes the agitation led by Hardik Patel, demanding quotas for the Patel community under backward classes or OBC quota. Similarly, agitation by OBC leader Alpesh Thakore, demanding jobs for local youths in the industries set up in Gujarat.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister on Monday distributed appointment letters to 3,000 youths who will be joining the state’s panchayat department in different cadres. These candidates are among the 11,563 candidates who have been selected to join the department. The candidates took an exam conducted by the Panchayat Board where 18 lakh people appeared.