The New York TimesThe New York Times

Too many workers, or too few: India's colossal employment challenge

By Alex Travelli and Hari Kumar

29 Jun 2023 · 7 min read

informed Summary

  1. India's economic growth is not producing enough jobs, and the jobs that are available often do not align with the skills and aspirations of potential employees.

PATNA, India — The grubby lanes of Musallahpur, in the north Indian city of Patna, heave with the foot traffic, banners and vending carts familiar to commercial hubs across India. Here, though, the cacophony is directed toward a single goal: helping young people land a government job.

Musallahpur is filled with brick-barn classrooms where 20-somethings crowd themselves and their heavy backpacks to train for standardized employment exams. With nearly 1,800 applicants for every one of the state’s top-tier jobs, they know it is the ultimate long shot. But in a country where semi-employed drudgery defines life for hundreds of millions, it is their only hope.

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