Jobs grew 0.28% sequentially in the April-June period in eight labour-intensive sectors as exporting units of textiles and leather ramped up bench strength to reap the benefits of a falling rupee for a bigger pie of the global market.
However, job growth was sluggish in IT/BPO, auto and gems and jewellery while the metals sector slashed jobs, the labour ministry's quarterly survey on 2,301 manufacturing units showed. A ban on iron ore mining in some states such as Goa and Karnataka coupled with stalled projects, including that for steel and aluminium, took a heavy toll on jobs in the metal sector.
The good news is direct employment increased by 1.06 lakh and contract jobs declined by 20,000 in the first quarter this fiscal. Jobs in exporting units increased by 1.21 lakh and shrunk by 34,000 in the non-exporting units. "At overall level, employment increased by 86,000 in the quarter ended June 2013 over March 2013," the labour ministry said in the survey.
Job growth in most sectors have been almost stagnant as the economic growth plunged to a decadal low of 5% during 2012-13, from 6.2% in 2011-12 and 9.3% in 2010-11, thanks to a gloomy industrial climate and slow exports. However, the rupee depreciation by almost 25% against the dollar between July 2012 and June 2013 increased competitiveness for Indian merchandise in overseas markets and helped exporting units raise output.
The job growth came primarily from textile including apparel sector, which hired 88,000 workers in April-June, a growth of 0.72% quarter-on-quarter. Among the other traditional sectors, leather industry increased staff strength by 18,000 or 1.35% q-o-q while gems and jewellery sector hired 8,000 workers, up 0.85% q-o-q.
Automobiles sector also hired 8,000 workers, a growth of 0.28% q-o-q while IT-BPO firms tread cautiously hiring just 3,000 techies, up 0.04% q-o-q. The metals sector shed 38,000 workers during April-June, a sequential fall of 0.82%.
The textile sector went on a hiring spree between July 2012 and June 2013 as a depreciating rupee and rising Chinese wages increased competitiveness and helped in boosting exports by 9%. Of the total 1.78 lakh workers