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The Union government is set to release the jobs data for April-June FY22 early next week, capturing the impact of second wave of the covid-19 pandemic on employment generation.

The rejigged quarterly employment survey (QES), which comes almost four years after it was discontinued, has collected data from employers in nine broad industrial and service sectors.

It will be the beginning of a regular data collection exercise and may plug the gap in official data on the labour market and do away with the dependence on private job data agencies, at least two government officials said.

“The survey results have already come to the ministry for the first quarter. Authorities are gearing up to release it on 27 September, if everything goes according to plan," said a government official who did not wish to be named.

“The data may bring out some positives contrary to what some private organizations have said about the jobs scenario," the person said.

“Once the QES is in place, it will plug the gap of data shortage on the job market and hopefully give us regular labour market updates, initially (for the first few quarters) of the formal sectors employing 10 or more workers and later of firms deploying even less than 10 employees," the official said.

India’s unemployment rate has been high for the past several years and it got stretched further after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The unemployment rate climbed to over 20% during the national lockdown in the first wave of the pandemic.

However, it has tapered down and according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), as of 31 August, India’s national joblessness was 8.32% and the urban unemployment rate was 9.78%, considered quite high in the labour market.

More than 1.5 million people from both the formal and informal sectors had lost their jobs in August 2021 alone, Mint had reported on 1 September.

When asked why labour bureau data will be more reliable, a second official said the data is being collected from establishments and enterprises directly, unlike household surveys where field officers and enumerators talk to families. Second, it has a fairly broad scope, including sectors in manufacturing such as textiles and heavy engineering, export-oriented firms, technology sector, and mass employers such as healthcare and education sectors, among others.

The Union ministry of statistics has been conducting a quarterly survey, but its scope is limited to urban India—it is a household survey and its results are coming between nine months to a year after the survey period, the second official said.

The labour bureau claims to churn quarterly employment survey in regular intervals without much delay and encompassing data from both rural and urban India.

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