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New Approach to Employment and Unemployment Survey in India

To bring the reliability in the Employment and Unemployment Survey data, a new committee has been formed under the Chairmanship of former Chief Statistician, Prof. T. C. A. Anant. This new Committee replaces the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in the conduct of quinquennial Survey on Employment and Unemployment Survey in India.

To start with, this new Committee has brought in a notable change in the mode of conduct of survey on employment-unemployment. For the first time, the survey is using the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) technique that involves direct entry of data in tablets at the time of field survey. The aim behind adopting computer-based survey is to ensure higher accuracy, transparency and faster processing of data for the timely release.

The survey intends to provide estimates of labor force participation, work force participation, employment and unemployment, industrial structure of workforce, nature of employment, and labor segregation at national as well at regional level on yearly basis. In addition, it would also provide the detail wage structure at aggregate as well subnational level by covering 5, 000 unit across urban areas and 8, 000 villages. The survey also likely to facilitate the tracking of seasonal employment and migration and seasonal employment, changes in characteristics of employment over time period. For this, the urban areas would be surveyed about four times constituting a rolling panel for three quarters.

This new approach of data collection is also replacing the Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey, which was earlier conducted by Labor Bureau and NSSO’s Employment Unemployment surveys estimates of labor force participation with the Periodic Labor Force Survey (PLFS). Launched in April 2017, the PLFS is based on larger sample size and intends to collect data for shorter periods by measuring quarterly changes in statistical indicators of labor market in urban areas. Further, on the basis of this quarterly estimates, it will provide the yearly figures of labor force for the economy. In the case of rural areas, the survey aims to estimate the labor force and work force participation on yearly basis and not on quarterly basis.

It is to be noted that the survey report will continue to follow the calendar of previous employment and unemployment quinquennial survey i.e. June-July Calendar. Statistics Ministry has already begun data collection for the Periodic Labor Force Survey in the year 2017 and plans to publish the national composite employment numbers for the July 2017-June 2018, by the end of the year 2018.

About the Authour: Hema Prakash, Ph.D. Research Scholar, Centre for Studies in Economics and Planning, Central University of Gujarat, Email- hemaprakash24@gmail.com

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