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Today unemployment is a major factor which is affecting our economic growth. NSSO has defined unemployment as a situation in which all those who do not have work owing to lack of jobs seek work through employment exchanges, friends, relatives, intermediaries or by making applications to prospective employers or express their willingness to work under the prevailing conditions of work and remuneration. Economists define an unemployed person as a person who is unable to get employment for even one hour during half a day. This is just one definition for unemployment.

There are three sources through which information about unemployment can be gathered:
  • Reports of Census of India

  • National Sample Survey Organization's Reports on Employment and Unemployment Situation

  • Directorate General of Employment and Training Data with Employment Exchanges

These sources of data provide different estimates of unemployment. They provide us with all the attributes of the unemployed and also the different kinds of unemployment prevailing in the country.

One kind of unemployment is called open unemployment. People looking for advertisements in papers for jobs, going to factories and offices hunting for a job vacancy, trying to gain employment through friends or relatives, registering in the employment exchange and staying at home when there is no job( this is what people in the rural sector do) are all examples of open unemployment.

Economists have termed the unemployment existing in the Indian farms as disguised unemployment. It is disguised because the actual need of people working in the farm is much lesser than the number of workers employed by the farmer, these people would include his family which does not get paid. A study of 1950s revealed that about 1/3rd of our agricultural workers are disguisedly unemployed.

Seasonal Unemployment is a kind of unemployment which happens on a seasonal basis. People especially in the rural sector do not have work in the period between sowing and harvesting. They try to gain employment elsewhere during this time. This is yet another common form of unemployment existing in our country.

In India, people cannot be unemployed for a long time because of their very backward economic condition. This condition forces them to take up any job no matter how unclean or unpleasant, in order to meet atleast some of their financial needs.

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