Dharmendra Pradhan

New Delhi: On April 5, 2018, Dharmendra Pradhan, minister for petroleum and natural gas and skill development, tweeted a Press Trust of India report saying that job creation in the services sector under prime minister Narendra Modi was at a seven-year high and growth in the sector was back on track.

We fact-checked the claims and found both to be true.

Claim 1: Jobs created in the services sector are at a seven-year high.

Fact: True. The news report Pradhan cited was quoting the monthly Nikkei India Services PMI, brought out by IHS Markit, a global business analytics firm. This is a monthly survey of managers in 400 private service sector companies, tracking variables such as output, new orders, stock levels, employment and prices.

Job growth rate in the sector has been at high for three straight months now, according to the last three surveys in January, February and March, with pace of change being the highest in seven years since June 2011 for February and March 2018.

Claim 2: Services PMI is back on track.

Fact: True. After dipping below 50--the level that marks expansion from contraction--in February to 47.3, the index rose to 50.3 in March, indicating growth in demand and staffing.

“In the service sector ... [f]orecasts of an improvement in demand conditions were cited as the key factor behind optimism,” the March survey report, released on April 5, 2018, said.

“Outstanding business in India’s service sector rose in March. Reflecting improved demand conditions and pressure on current resources, service providers expanded capacity by raising their staffing levels at the quickest pace since June 2011.”

(Vivek is an analyst with IndiaSpend and FactChecker.)

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