This paper argues that both China and India, despite the similarity of the current international hype about their future economic prospects and also despite their obvious differences, face rather similar economic problems at present with respect to the labour market. In both countries, the strategy of development is delivering relatively high growth without commensurate increases in employment, especially in the organised sector. Further, the bulk of new employment is in lower productivity activities under uncertain and often oppressive conditions. It is argued that this apparent disjunction between economic growth and employment generation may be a common result of the similar strategy of economic expansion currently being followed in both countries.
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(Paper presented at ICSSR-IHD-CASS Seminar on Labour markets in India and China: Experiences and emerging perspectives 28-30 March 2007, New Delhi. This paper has appeared in the Social Scientist.)