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How do skilled workers find jobs in India?: an assessment study of employment exchanges in India

Rajesh Gupta (Department of Economics, Indian Institute of Management, Kashipur, India)
Navya Bagga (Department of Economics, IIT Delhi, New Delhi, India)

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences

ISSN: 1026-4116

Article publication date: 14 December 2022




Employment exchanges have been playing a significant role in the worldwide labor market for more than a hundred years now. In India, since 1946, millions of aspiring Indian youths have registered themselves with the government-run employment exchanges to find a job. About four million job seekers got registered at 1,000 employment exchanges in India, it is important to analyze the placement statistics of these exchanges. In recent years, new methods of job search have evolved. This study examines whether employment exchanges are effective in the changed scenario?


Using state-level employment exchange data for the period 2010–2011 to 2019–2020, this study analyzes the determinants of job placement at employment exchanges in India. A critical analysis of the functioning of employment exchanges along with recommendations to improve the job search ecosystem in India is also presented in the study.


This study found that increased share of service sector in the state economy negatively impacts placement at employment exchanges.

Research limitations/implications

The absence of focus on the service sector requires policy intervention if Indian employment exchanges are to remain relavant.

Practical implications

The government administration should rethink that ignoring service sector employment potential is unaffordable for an emerging economy and employment exchanges should be aligned accordingly.

Social implications

About 30 million people are unemployed in India. If employment exchanges are transformed, it can have far-reaching socio-economic advantages.


This study is the first sub-country level study on the institution of employment exchanges. This study comprehensively maps the landscape of career services in India. Empirically establishing the impact of sectoral structure of economy on efficacy of employment exchanges, and makes the case for policy intervention that is needed to keep the employment exchanges relevant in India.



Gupta, R. and Bagga, N. (2022), "How do skilled workers find jobs in India?: an assessment study of employment exchanges in India", Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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