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India and Unemployment

In this article we will discuss India and Unemployment (Brief Overview)

In this article, we will discuss India and Unemployment (Brief Overview). So, let’s get started.

  • Indian Economy and Employment
  • Economic Growth Rate Trends
  • The growth rate of the economy (measured by Gross Value Added (GVA) at constant prices) accelerated from 4.27% in the 20 years before the economic reforms to 6.34% in the 20 years following the reforms and to 6.58% between 2010-11 and 2019-20 at 2011-12 prices.
  • This growth trajectory was accompanied by a steady decline in the share of agriculture from 30% in 1990-91 to 18% in 2019-20 and a steady increase in the share of non-agriculture output in total economic output.
  • India’s Employment Related Data
  • Two major sources of data on workforce and employment have been the Decennial Population Census and the nationwide quinquennial (5-yearly) surveys on employment and unemployment by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
  • The quinquennial surveys of NSSO provide data for upto 2011-12 only. Hence, it was replaced by the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), started in 2017-18 on an annual basis.
  • PLFS is India’s first computer-based survey launched by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in 2017. It has been constituted based on the recommendation of a committee headed by Amitabh Kundu.
  • It collects data on several variables such as the level of unemployment, the types of employment and their respective shares, the wages earned from different types of jobs, the number of hours worked etc.
  • Employment Trends
  • PLFS data show an increase in the worker to population ratio (WPR) from 34.7% in 2017-18 to 38.2% in 2019-20.
  • This is a reversal of the previous trend which showed a decline in WPR after 2004-05.
  • The change also implies that employment has increased at a much faster rate than growth in population.
  • The increase in WPR has been reported in the rural and urban population and in the male and female population.
  • This increase in WPR is even more significant as it has occurred in the midst of an increase in the labour force participation rate.
  • Women-Specific Stats
  • Female WPR ratio increased from 17.5% to 24% between 2017-18 and 2019-20. The ratio, when multiplied by the female population, shows an annual increase of 17% of women workers.
  • Another positive indication from PLFS data is that the gap between the male and female worker participation rate is narrowing down.
  • As against 100 male workers, there were 32 female workers in the workforce in 2017-18. This number increased to 40 in 2019-20.
  • Women constituted 24% of the workforce in the country in 2017-18 and 28.8% in 2019-20.
  • Also, the unemployment rate in the female labour force in rural areas is far lower than the male labour force, whereas the opposite holds true in urban areas.
  • This is despite the fact that the female labour force participation rate in rural India is 33% higher than the rate in urban areas.

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