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Workers and Employment

We know that the total money value of all goods and services (like farmers producing raw material, lorries helping in transportation of products, industries involved in producing finished goods etc) produced in a country during a year is called its gross domestic product for the year. If the amount paid for the imports and the money got from the exports is added, we get the net earnings of the country for the year. This value maybe positive or negative or zero depending on which value was greater, the value of imports or exports or if they were equal. If we add this to the earnings from foreign transaction, we get the gross national product of a country for the year.

The activities which contribute to the gross national product of a country are called economic activities and all the people who are involved in economic activities in whatever position are termed as workers. People who are temporarily out of work due to bad weather, illness of physical disabilities are also called workers if they contribute to the gross national product. Even self employed people and those who help the main workers also fall under the category of workers. The employment of workers in India is multi dimensional. There are people who have work throughout a year and there are people who have periodic unemployment. Many workers do not get their fare share of wages. In order to estimate the number of workers, everyone who is engaged in economic activities is included. India had a 400 million workforce in 1999-2000. The number of people working in the rural sector is more than those in the urban sectors. About 70% of the workforce is men. The rest are women and child labourers. The rural workforce has 1/3rd of its workforce as women but in the urban sector it is just 1/5th of the total workforce. Women cook, fetch water and fuel and do a plethora of other activities for which they are not paid and hence are not classified as workers. Some economists feel that women should be classified as workers.

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