Essay on the Types of Unemployment

Seasonal unemployment is very much associated with agriculture. During the off- season many labourers will have to spend their time idly without having any work .In some industries such as sugar, woollen and ice factories, workers get jobs only for a certain period of the year or in a particular season.

When the season is over, they don’t get work in the factories and they will have to wait for the next season to come to find the same work. This type of unemployment may often make the labourers to become migratory in character.

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2. Agricultural Unemployment:

Agricultural unemployment is caused by a number of factors such as the very seasonal nature of agricultural work, the decay of cottage industries, lack of demand for homemade products, lack of alternative work in the rural areas, sub-division of land holdings, etc. R.K. Mukherjee has said in his “Rural Economy of India” that on an average a cultivator in north India does not remain busy for more than 200days in a year.

Studies have revealed that “of the total population in the rural areas, only 29.4% people are self supporting, 59.0% are non-earning dependents, and 11.6% are earning dependents. This means

3. Technological and Frictional Unemployment:

Sometimes in the technological field ‘friction’ is caused due to an imbalance between the supply of labours and the demand for it. This friction does not allow the potentialities of the labour to be tapped. Even though unemployed workers are there ready to work, they may not be fit for the work, or they may not have the required skill and qualification to do the work.

Since the demand of the customers is constantly shifting from one product to another, it becomes difficult for workers to catch up with the tastes and choices of the workers. Such shifts in consumer demand may make certain factories to be closed down leaving behind a trail of unemployment.

Technological unemployment is caused mainly because of the introduction of labour-saving machines. It is caused due to the reduction of man power necessary to produce a finished article.

The process of automation and mechanization has caused great anxieties and insecurities for workers displacing good number of them from work. Introduction of computers in the beginning stages can be cited here as an example. Every advance in technology virtually means today, displacement of human labour to some or the other extent.

4. Industrial Unemployment:

Industrial unemployment is caused in another manner. Due to high pressure of people on land, a large number of rural people are moving towards urban areas in search of jobs in some factories or the other, only to get disappointment in a short time.

Slow growth of industries, competition with foreign industries, unplanned industrialization, defective industrial policies, labour strikes or employer’s lock­out, rationalization, etc., may also cause industrial unemployment.

5. Cyclical Unemployment:

Due to the “trade cycles”‘, booms, recessions and depressions are common in the business world. Such ups-and-downs in business influence the volume of unemployment which decreases when trade is good and increases when it is bad.

If depression continues for a longer period (like the Great Depression of 1925-30) it adversely affects the labourers by turning them out of job or by providing no fresh job opportunities.

6. Educational Unemployment:

There is a close link between the job opportunities and the system of education. In fact, in one of its annual report, the UGC (University Grants Commission) itself has commented that the present system of education is “generating much waste and stagnation “.

The Kothari Commission (1964- 66) had admitted long back that there is a wide gulf between “the contents of the present education and purposes and the concerns of national development”.

Even after 1966, thorough overhauling of our educational system to make it relevant to the needs and demands of the time has not been made. Hence, every year we are producing thousands of degree- holders only to join the rank of the educated unemployed youths. For example, in 1965 there were 9 lakh unemployed graduates in the country, and the number increased to 5.6 million in 1977.

The figure of educated unemployed persons in the nation was 34,66,435 as on November 30th 1991. West Bengal has the largest number of educated unemployed persons (degree holders) in the country (27.21 % of the total unemployed) followed by Bihar (24.85%), Kerala (21.10%) and Karnataka (18.49%)

7. Temporary Unemployment:

Our young men and women who are capable of securing for themselves some jobs, do not get them soon after their education. Many of them are made to wait for some time during which they remain as unemployed. People often change their jobs, and in the interval of changing they may remain as unemployed for a short period.

8. Voluntary Unemployment:

Voluntary unemployment is found when the worker voluntarily withdraws himself from the work, He may do so due to the quarrel with the employer, or he may have other sources of income. This condition is relatively rare and hence this type of unemployment is not given much importance.

9. Involuntary Unemployment or Under-employment:

Lord Keynes uses the concept of involuntary unemployment for under-employment. It refers to a condition in which the self -employed working people are not working to their full capacity. People who are partially employed, or are doing inferior jobs while they could do better jobs are not adequately employed. It can be called a state of “under-employment”.

10. Open Unemployment or Structural Unemployment:

Open unemployment is also called “structural unemployment”. It is the result of lack of complementary resources especially capital. Open unemployment is a situation where in a large labour force does not get work opportunities that may fetch them regular income.

Open unemployment is the result particularly when a large reserve army of labour exists which does not find any income- fetching job. Open unemployment emerges because the rate of capital accumulation lags behind the rate of population growth

11. Disguised Unemployment:

Disguised unemployment is that type of unemployment which cannot be seen or known from outside. It is concealed or hidden. It refers to a situation in which men or women work the whole day but fail to make any contribution to the total output.

It is a state of affair in which a person’s marginal productivity or contribution is close to zero. This type of unemployment is very much acute and apparent in the rural area.

For example, of the 10 people who have been working in a piece of land, even if 3 persons migrate to cities, the productivity of the land does not get affected. This shows that the contribution of the 3 persons to productivity is virtually zero.


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