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What is the relation between occupational structure and development?

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  • Last Updated : 11 Jul, 2022
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On the eve of independence, the Indian economy was an agro-economy. While around 85 percent of the workforce lived in villages and was involved in agriculture for livelihood directly or indirectly, merely 15 percent of the workforce was involved in the secondary and tertiary sectors. This speaks the volume about India being underdeveloped the independence on its eve.

What is occupational structure?

The occupational structure can be defined as a mix of all types of occupations found in a society. The workforce in society can be involved in usually three types of occupation sectors – the primary sector (dominated by agriculture), the secondary sector (dominated by industry), and third in tertiary sector (dominated by services such as banking and finance, etc).

The type of occupation, people are involved in also defines their development. It’s believed, at there should be a smooth paradigm shift from an agriculture-dominated economy to a service sector-dominated economy, by routing through an industry-dominated sector in between. 

This can be attributed to the following reasons

  • When an economy is dependent on agriculture, the rate of development is usually slow because it provides livelihood to a large number of people but their contribution to GDP is very less. It can be understood from the current scenario of the Indian economy, that while around 50 percent of people are dependent on agriculture for livelihood, the contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP is only 18 percent.
  • When people are dependent on the secondary and tertiary sectors for their livelihood, the development of an economy is more. For eg: during the Post 1991 balance of payment crisis, there was a shift in the Indian economy from the primary sector to the secondary and tertiary sector and India was able to clock a growth rate of more than 7 percent.
  • When people are engaged in the quaternary sector, their standard of living and human capital formation improve. Aa there’s a substantial change in their consumption pattern, they tend to spend more on health and education.

Sample Questions

Question 1:  How does the occupational structure change with economic development?

Answer:

 The rate of economic development and level of per capita income increase as the workforce shifts from primary to secondary and tertiary sectors more and more.

Question 2: What is the importance of occupational structure in India?

Answer:

The following are important occupational structure in India:

  • It helps to know about various forms of work like fishing, manufacturing, etc.
  • Provides information about the economic activities of the areas.
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