INDIA'S LEADING ECONOMIC RESEARCH FIRM
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|Young Migrants To The Cities|
|Monday, 14 June 2010 10:08|
F2 chief wage earners have very low education and skill levels. They are still in their younger years, but the defining characteristic here is that they are all single and living alone, there is no family support here.
Last week we looked at the F1 urban consumer segment, which included households whose chief wage earners were school educated skilled workers, living with family, single or married without children. This week the educational profile expands lower down the scale in segment F2 to include households whose chief wage earners have very low education and skill levels. Chief wage earners are still in their younger years, but the defining characteristic here is that they are all single and living alone, there is no family support here. These are the young migrants to the city, with families in villages or smaller towns, come to the cities for better prospects. They form quite a large group, the tenth largest in size with 2.6% of all urban households in India with more than 18 lakh people. This segment is young, 56% are less than 25 years, has low education, almost a quarter have barely completed primary schooling. The work they find in the cities naturally gives low money, median annual income is just Rs. 34,000, the second lowest amongst all urban segments. Though F2 chief wage earners are mostly men, there are a smattering of women here too, making up a little under 10% of the segment. It is not easy for women with low education and skills to make it alone in the cities, and yet they are here, compelled by circumstances to leave home.
F2 chief wage earners are in the cities to earn and send money back home. Almost 70% have regular salaried jobs, while some are self employed, there are others who would be on daily wages, contractual labour not sure of what the month ahead has for them. Though saving for their families would be top priority for these young people, one disconcerting point about their household budgets is that the largest item in their consumption is food. Low income households spend a much larger share of their expenditure on the most basic necessities and this is one of the segments that is being hit the hardest by the rising food prices, denting their savings and reducing the remittances back home.
There would be those within this group, though, whose food expenses are being taken care of, at least to some extent, by their employees. In fact 32% of these households live in accommodation that is neither owned nor rented, ie. in premises provided by the employers, the largest share amongst all urban segments. This fits in with the life and occupational profile of this segment. Chief wage earners here have a very diverse set of employment profiles, when it comes to sectors – more than a third have found work in the manufacturing sector, these would largely be those who have some skills and relatively higher schooling education. For the others, hotels and restaurants is the dominant sector – F2 in fact has the largest share in this sector, amongst all urban segments. The sandwich sellers on Dalal Street are just one set that stand out here. Then there are the small tea shops that service big office complexes in metros and towns, the numerous little stalls on the roadside selling just one or two food items, the Udupi joints and others like them across the country – all these provide high scope for people who have no education and no skills. Without these food places, in fact, urban India would lack a lot of its spice. And then there are wholesale and retail trade and construction and real estate activities that make up the next two most important sectors, again sectors that give ample opportunities for those who have little to offer but are willing and able to provide pure physical labour.