It’s your last chance to get BOTH new Marketplace Sock designs for only $5/month.
Don’t wait – this special offer ends today!
India’s young, smart and vibrant workforce is a great resource. But the economy isn’t generating enough jobs to lift living standards.
India needs to create one million jobs every month just to absorb new workers, and better job opportunities have become a top priority for voters as the current government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi fights for re-election.
Underemployment — where workers want to work more hours but can’t find a full-time job — is an even bigger problem.
Anand Kumar came to Delhi as an impoverished child and mopped floors to survive.
Now 28 years old, he worked full-time while studying in the hope that his hard work would lead to a coveted job in the Indian government.
But a lack of opportunity means he’s currently working as a door-to-door salesman.
Kumar, who is his family’s sole earner, sells small business owners the trucks his employer makes.
“Private companies want you to work six days a week for very little money. They’re squeezing you for profits. A government job is more secure,” Kumar said.
Across India, millions of workers like Kumar are struggling to find well-paid, secure jobs.
But despite the lack of job opportunities, Anand says he’ll still vote for India’s ruling party, the BJP.
“In my village we used to say ‘wow!’ when electricity came a few hours a day — it was so rare. Now, we have electricity 18 hours a day. We need to give the BJP more time to achieve what they promised,” he said.
“I feel disappointed that I’ve got a job paying only half of what I want. But when I look back on my circumstances in childhood I think, well, things are still better.”
Click the audio player above to hear the full story.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.