Data out on Wednesday showed India's economic growth slowed to 7.1 percent in the quarter to June, a 15-month low. That is faster than other major economies, but not fast enough to create enough new jobs to absorb all the one million people who join the workforce every month.
A government survey found that job creation fell by more than two-thirds in 2015. Analysts at HDFC Bank estimate that for every percentage point the economy grows, employment now adds just 0.15 of a percentage point - down from 0.39 in 2000.
It's a major challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has promised to create 250 million jobs over the next decade.
"For one job, there are at least 20 candidates," said Kumar. "If you want the job, you can't afford to bargain."
Yet, despite average annual growth of 6.5 percent between 1991 and 2013, India added less than half the jobs needed to absorb new job seekers.
"India has become a demand-starved economy," Sen said. "If there is no demand, there will be no incentive to produce more which, in turn, will mean no new jobs."
Two years of drought has caused distress in farming, while the construction business has suffered a prolonged downturn – making work scarcer in the two sectors that employ the bulk of India's unskilled workforce.
Satellite cities around the capital, like Greater Noida were, until recently, bustling with construction activity.
Now, Greater Noida's skyline is dotted with half-built, abandoned, high-rises. Cranes and diggers stand idle.