labels: economy - general
Real manufacturing wages in India down 22 per cent in 1990-2002: ILO news
29 August 2006

Mumbai: Workers in India experienced a drop in real manufacturing wages of 22 per cent, despite an increase in manufacturing labour productivity of more than 84 per cent between 1990 and 2002, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said in a report.

While real wages in manufacturing sector have risen throughout much of Asia, they have not matched increases in labour productivity, according to the ILO report Labour and Social Trends in South Asia and the Pacific 2006: Progress toward Decent Work.

Unemployment in South Asia averaged five per cent against 4.6 per cent in the whole of Asia Pacific region, the report said. The employment scenario would become more acute in the next decade as the labour force grows by around 2.1 per cent annually, adding over 14 million people to the labour market between now and 2015. The most rapid increase will be in countries with the greatest number of working poor, the report added.

Economic growth stayed well above five per cent in most South Asian countries, including India, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Bhutan, since 2000. However, job creation has not been strong enough to fully absorb new labour market entrants, "The Asia-Pacific region is the most dynamically developing region in the world," according to South Korean labor minister Lee Sang-soo, who presides over the meeting. "And 60 per cent of the global work force resides here," he added.

Representatives from about 40 countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific as well as workers'' and employers'' organisations were attending the ILO Asian regional meeting. They are expected to discuss issues related to globalisation and its effects on labor.

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Real manufacturing wages in India down 22 per cent in 1990-2002: ILO