Eight labour-intensive industries saw a considerable drop in the rate of creation of new jobs in the first nine months of 2015. Merely 1.55 lakh new jobs were created in January-September 2015, compared with over three lakh jobs in the same period in 2013 and 2014, according to data from the Labour Bureau. The figures mark a six-year low in the pace of employment growth, The Hindu reported.

The Labour Bureau, which functions under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, began to conduct quarterly surveys after the 2008-09 global recession to study its effects on employment in eight sectors – textiles, leather, metal, automobiles, gems and jewellery, transport, information technology and handloom.

The Labour Bureau's latest quarterly survey showed that 1.34 lakh jobs were created in July-September 2015, the lowest in the corresponding quarters since 2009. The number of jobs rose by 64,000 in January-March 2015, but declined by 43,000 in the next quarter, which brought the net addition of jobs in 2015 to 1.55 lakh. In contrast, 3.04 lakh new jobs were added in January-September 2014, and 3.36 lakh in the same period of 2013, highlighting a sharp decline in the hiring of contract labour in 2015.

As companies usually conduct recruitment drives in the July-September quarter, the period often sees a hike in employment rates. This is primarily why analysts expressed alarm over the new statistics. The chief economist of credit rating agency Credit Analysis & Research Limited, Madan Sabnavis, explained that jobs are added only when production rate is up. As “industrial growth has been low”, there has been “a lot of rationalisation of staff in the corporate sector”, with the “government itself not recruiting people”, he added.

However, the president of the Indian Staffing Federation, Rituparna Chakraborty, claimed that the staffing industry was “going at a healthy 18% to 20%”, and that the Labour Bureau's data did not provide a comprehensive purview of job growth in India because it did not include several other sectors.