- In India, the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) has been quinquennially collecting data on employment and unemployment but from 2017 onwards, the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was launched by the NSSO.
- It aimed to provide quarterly employment and unemployment data
- Under the PLFS, households are selected in both rural and urban areas by providing 75 per cent weightage to households where at least one member has secondary education (Class 10) or above.
- PLFS is India’s first computer-based survey which gives estimates of Key employment and unemployment Indicators like the Labour Force Participation Rates (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR), Unemployment Rate (UR), etc. These indicators are defined as follows:
- Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR): LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in the labour force (i.e. working or seeking or available for work) in the population.
- Worker Population Ratio (WPR): WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.
- Unemployment Rate (UR): UR is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force.
- Activity Status- Usual Status: The activity status of a person is determined on the basis of the activities pursued by the person during the specified reference period. When the activity status is determined on the basis of the reference period of the last 365 days preceding the date of survey, it is known as the usual activity status of the person.
- Activity Status- Current Weekly Status (CWS): The activity status determined on the basis of a reference period of last 7 days preceding the date of survey is known as the current weekly status (CWS) of the person.
- The PLFS also gives the distribution of educated and unemployed people, which in turn can be used as a basis for skilling of youth to make them more employable by industry.
Objective of PLFS
- The objective of PLFS is primarily twofold:
- to estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the Current Weekly Status (CWS)
- to estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both Usual status and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.
Why in News?
- National Sample Survey Organisation has released the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey.
Highlights of the report
- India’s unemployment rate improved from the 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18 to 5.8% in 2018-19. The report shows the dip came across all categories, though women and rural workers showed the most improvement.
- Women’s unemployment fell from 5.7% to 5.2%, while male unemployment only fell from 6.2% to 6%. Urban unemployment was still at a high of 7.7% in 2018-19, a marginal drop from 7.8% in 2017-18, while rural unemployment fell from 5.3% to 5%.
- The labour force participation rate also improved marginally, from 36.9% in 2017-18 to 37.5% in 2018-19.
- The female participation rate improved in both urban and rural India during the period under review, going up to 18.6% in 2018-19 from 17.5% the year before.
- The worker population ratio also increased to 35.3 per cent from 36.9 per cent during 2017-18.
- Experts feel it would be a challenge to retain the falling trend in unemployment rate in 2019-20, which has witnessed a long nationwide lockdown between March and June to prevent the spread of Covid-19, resulting in job losses across sectors.