At least 930 million workers in the Asia-Pacific region, including India, are facing vulnerable employment, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a report that urges economies to improve the quality of jobs.
There is no country-specific break-up of this number, but on an average 48.6% of workers in this region feel vulnerable and the trend will grow marginally to 49% by 2020, the ILO said. This means almost one in every two workers are facing uncertainty at work, including low wage and less conducive working conditions, despite impressive economic growth in the region over the last one-and-a-half decades.
According to the report about 41% of Indian employees feel they are poorly paid, a figure that is the fourth worst among the 22 countries of the region, trailed only by Bangladesh, Pakistan and Mongolia. Workers in Hong Kong, Australia and Thailand are the least low-paid employees in the region.
Nearly 31% Indian workers are working in unhealthy working condition as per the study.
All South Asian countries show a low female labour force participation rate with the exception of Nepal, which stands out with a high rate of 79.3% in 2008 (its latest Labour Force Survey year), according to the report. In contrast, India’s female LFPR (labour force participation rate) of 26.2% in 2011–12 slumped from 32.6% in 2004–05, “despite the country’s strong economic growth”.
The global labour body also underlined that low social security penetration is limiting workers’ fallback options post retirement or in case of job loss. It attributed higher informality in the labour market as the prime reason for this low penetration.
In Asia-Pacific, people aged 65 or older represent 7.8% of the total population. Yet, social protection expenditure on pensions and other old-age benefits was 5.1% of gross domestic product on average, ILO said.