The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Growth, but not in jobs

New Delhi, June 12: Bengal has emerged among the top three states in the number of business enterprises, according to an economic census done by the Centre.

Tamil Nadu is first with a share of 10.56 per cent of the total number of enterprises in the country and Maharashtra, with 10.39 per cent, is second. Bengal’s share is 10.17 per cent.

The three are also the top three employers in the country with Bengal again in the third place, employing some 9.3 million people. Maharashtra is first with 11.8 million and Tamil Nadu second with 9.8 million.

However, the figures ' culled from the fifth economic census of enterprises and based on a survey done last year by the government ' also suggest that Bengal has seen jobless growth in urban areas between 1998 and 2005 and a mere 1.7 per cent employment growth in rural enterprises. This translates into a 0.87 per cent overall job growth.

Although Bengal registered a 4.1 per cent growth in new enterprises, the number of jobs created in the period “wasn’t enough to overtake the number of jobs the state lost”, explained a statistician involved in the census.

Maharashtra too reported a low job growth of 1.79 per cent but Tamil Nadu saw 5 per cent growth. “It shows new jobs being created in Bengal and Maharashtra are mostly highly skilled ones which are naturally few in number,” said S.P. Gupta, former Planning Commission member.

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