What is the impact of globalisation on employment?

1. Increase in Number of Casual Workers

Globalisation resulted in an increase in the number of informal workers. According to National Sample Survey, the proportion of casual workers which was 28.75 in 1983 increased to 33.2% in 1999-2000.

2. Lockouts in India

During the era of globalisation and liberalisation employer have been able to achieve the following objectives by using the instruments of lockouts.

  • to bring a reduction in surplus labour.
  • to increase workload per worker in order to raise overall production and productivity.
  • to force workers to accept no pay for no work during the entire period of lockout.
  • to force stringent norms of work even in violation of Industrial Disputes Act.
  • to weaken trade unions.

3. Proletarianization of Labour

Globalisation accelerated the process of proletarianization of labour. The problems of unemployment, lower wages, part time jobs and no security jobs have increased. A higher profit earning employer has been employing efficient labour. The bargaining power of the Trade Unions have reduced.

4. Inequalities Increasing Gap

Globalisation has resulted in high degree of concentration of wealth at the hands of a few. The widening inequality has been due to a very high compensation paid by Multinational enterprises (MNEs). Those associated with successfull MNEs and internationally competitive national enterprises benefited the most. There is widening differences in wages and salaries between rural and urban sectors and also in most of the states.

5. Slow Down in Poverty Alleviation Programmes

The natural rights of the tribal, on forest land are being appropriated by Indian corporations and MNCs causing serious disadvantage to their employment and income. Globalisation has resulted in a systematic process of exploitation of tribal communities.

6. Tactics by Developed Countries

The developed countries continued to subsidize agriculture making it difficult for developing countries to eliminate their subsidies on industrial goods. The large number of suicides committed by farmers in India was the direct result of double standards adopted by the developed countries to sell their agricultural products like cotton in the world markets at a relatively much lower prices, thereby eliminating Indian cotton exports.

7. Feminization of Labour in Low Wages Job

Globalisation has resulted in an increase in women’s employment into low paid jobs. There has been feminization of flexible labour during the 1990s in industries where profit margins are maintained by reducing labour costs, long hours of work and decrease in the number of formal production workers.

8. Indecent approach of Globalisation

The increasing casualisation and feminization of labour under the slogan of globalisation has led to indecent work and exploitation of workers. Globalisation has led to competitiveness resulting in cost cutting adversely affecting the share of labour in national income. Small scale industries which create most employment faced difficulties in taking advantage of globalisation.The rural and informal economies remain on the margins resulting in poverty.

9. Weakening of Welfare State in Favour of Markets

Globalisation has resulted in minimum role of the State accompanies by a maximum role for markets. The pressure of MNCs, IMF and World Bank force Governments to take decisions about privatization of public enterprises. The opening of Foreign Direct Investment in several sectors like retail trade and consumer goods has resulted in closure of small and medium enterprises resulting in unemployment.

10. Employment in the Public Sector

Under the privatisation programme the government has started the disinvestment in Public Sector Undertakings equity. Privatisation theory says that loss making units should be privatised. The public sector enterprises were asked to reduce the overstaffing which further increased the problem of unemployment.

There is another side of the picture. In the pre reform period use of new technology brought about a considerable awareness among the people about job opportunities. In metropolitan cities and other large cities, new employment opportunities are being created and these are likely to multiply fast in the near future. Every major organisation now requires the services of experts from the IT field.

Employment is increasing in other computer related activities like those in airlines, hotels and other services. This will also give rise to more jobs because of backward and forward linkages. So as a whole, employment in the services sector is contributing more in employment generation.

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