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Which are the top sectors that generate employment in India? (Relevant for GS mains Paper III)

Growth of jobs in Farm and Non-farm sector

The growth of jobs in the post-liberalization era has been very narrowly concentrated in a few sectors.

Nearly a third of new jobs added in the Indian economy in the post-liberalization era have been in the construction sector alone, the data shows. The construction sector was a major job-creator even in the 1980s but its share in new jobs was much smaller then.

Since 1990-91, the construction sector added almost as many new non-farm jobs as the next four top job-generating sectors—trade, miscellaneous services, transport and storage, and education—put together.

In other Asian economies, which witnessed a transition from low-productivity jobs to high-productivity jobs, the manufacturing sector played a big role in that transition. In India, the role of the manufacturing sector has been very limited.

Even as the construction and services sectors expanded their share in the total employment pie, the share of manufacturing has remained nearly the same as it was three decades ago.


Manufacturing accounted for a tenth of total employment in the 1980s, and continues to account for about a tenth of total employment today. Within manufacturing, the share of labour-intensive industries such as textiles and leather has actually shrunk over the past few decades.

(Adapted from Live mint)

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