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Formal Labour Market in Urban India

Formal Labour Market in Urban India
Job Search, Hiring Practices and Discrimination

First Edition

September 2019 | 356 pages | SAGE India

Formal Labour Market in Urban India: Job Search, Hiring Practices and Discrimination is a comprehensive study on the demand and supply dynamics of urban labour markets in India. It presents an in-depth analysis of job search methods, job postings, access to information, job mobility, access to quality employment and hiring practices by employers. The book covers employed as well as unemployed job seekers belonging to different genders and socio-religious groups. It examines the nature and magnitude of discrimination and related consequences on employment, income and social status of labour. It further explains how social networks and employee referrals are critical in job search and job mobility in urban India, thereby undermining the chances of those equally or more competent for a job. The book offers valuable policy suggestions towards inclusive labour market through informational symmetries, education and skill development, and promoting socially inclusive policies by private enterprises.

Foreword by Sukhadeo Thorat
Introduction: Labour Market
Employment and Unemployment Situation in Urban India
City-Level Features of Employment and Unemployment
Job Search Methods and Access to Jobs
Job Mobility in Urban Labour Market
Wage Earnings and Inequality
Hiring Practices in Urban Labour Market
Discrimination and Promoting Inclusive Employment Opportunities

Based on a rigorous research, this book offers a credible explanation of the way job search and hiring practices work in India’s urban labour market for formal employment, which may be a small one but it is where people seeking jobs aspire to be. It is also an arena where discrimination is a fact of life often camouflaged in the name of merit, resulting in inequality of not only wages but also employment and finally of opportunities. I recommend the book not only to students of labour economics but also to a wider audience of informed citizens, given the political importance of the findings contained in this book.

K.P. Kannan,
Former Director and Honorary Fellow, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram

This is a highly insightful book examining the way in which generations-old inequalities by caste, ethnicity and religion interact with modern labour markets to reshape the opportunity structures in contemporary India. Its primary strength lies in its careful examination of job search strategies and the processes through which employers choose to interview and hire some candidates while excluding others.

Sonalde Desai,
Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland, Senior Fellow, National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi

Professor Mamgain meticulously combines what we know from large-scale surveys with the findings of his sample survey of the urban labour market. He focuses on issues relating to access and inclusion in the context of interactions between job seekers and job providers. He convincingly shows that the socially marginalised do not get a fair deal, particularly from the private sector. This book should be of interest to labour economists, sociologists and others interested in development issues. 

J. Krishnamurty,
Former Senior Employment Specialist, International Labour Organization, Geneva

Employment is at the heart of debates on economics and politics in contemporary India. This engaging book, based on a large sample survey, provides a systematic analysis of job search and hiring practices in the formal sector, characterised by asymmetric information, where unequal opportunities combined with discriminatory practices accentuate inequalities and reinforce exclusion. In doing so, it makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of a relatively unexplored domain while making important suggestions about how to improve the quality of employment in a rapidly changing, yet imperfect, labour market. The book will be a valuable reading for teachers, students and researchers in economics, as well as for policymakers and practitioners in labour studies.

Deepak Nayyar,
Emeritus Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi
Key features
• Based on a more recently large sample survey in urban India, this book provides for the first time a holistic analysis of formal urban labour market from the perspective of access and inclusion. 

• It undertakes critical analysis of job search strategies of employed as well as unemployed persons in the framework of informational asymmetries in labour market. 

• Income inequalities are explained in terms of employment inequality and wage inequality. It is argued that discrimination in employment is the major source of wage inequality. 

• Offers useful suggestions to improve the quality of employment and its access to socially marginalised groups and ensuring redistributive justice through affirmative measures. 

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ISBN: 9789353283223