What is Casualisation of Workforce?

Casualisation of Workforce: We know that workers can be divided into two broad categories: casual workers and hired workers. Over the years, there has been a continuous rise in the number of casual workers in India. At the same time, there has been a fall in the number of self-employed and regular-salaried workers. In other words, there has been a shift from regular- salaried employment and self-employment towards casual employment. The percentage of casually hired workers increased from 23% in 1972 to 33% in 1999-2000. For the same period, the percentage of self-employed workers decreased from 62% to 52%.

This continuous rise in the percentage of casually hired workers in the total workforce overtime with a simultaneous decline in the number of self-employed and regular-salaried individuals is referred to as casualization of the workforce.

What has led to this casualisation of the workforce in India?

We know that a majority of the population in India is engaged in the agricultural sector. However, this sector suffers from disguised employment. This means that the number of workers engaged in farming is more than what is actually required on the farms.

Thus, the slightest of opportunities encourages these agricultural workers to migrate to urban areas for better employment. However, owing to their low skills and education, they have to work as casual laborers. This increases the percentage of casual workers in the total workforce. Additionally, due to mass unemployment in urban areas, even the skilled and the educated accept to work as casual workers.


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