Labor in India Talk on Monday, November 12, 2012 in GEC 1005

Lopsided’ Transition:  Employment Trends and the Politics of Indian Labor in the Era of Globalization
A talk by John Harriss, Professor, Director of the School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada Location: FedEx Global Education Center Room 1005 Monday, November 12th 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
The structural transformation of the Indian economy is incomplete. While the share of agriculture in GDP has declined sharply, its share of the labor force has not. The agricultural economy is still characterized by extensive small-scale household production, and only a small minority of farming households can produce an income sufficient for family survival. Employment in agriculture has increasingly stagnated and rural non-agricultural employment not expanded as much as might have been hoped. More than 90 per cent of all jobs are ‘informal’ and the absolute numbers of protected ‘formal sector’ jobs declined between 2000 and 2005. There is evidence of the existence of an inverse relationship between output growth and employment growth, and of the effective exclusion of a large share of the labor force from the dynamic, productive sectors of the economy. The paper considers the responses of labor, rural and urban, to these trends, and the significance of the introduction by the Government of India of major new programs offering social protection in order to compensate for the failures of the ‘inclusive growth’ promised in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.