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Home >News >India >Govt surveys to track migrants, map job creation by 150,000 cos

The Union government on Wednesday launched two national surveys—one to track migrants, their socio-economic conditions and shifting preference for jobs, and the other to gather primary job creation numbers from 150,000 companies.

The move comes against the backdrop of the unprecedented flight of migrants from workplaces to their homes following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Uncertainty persists on their numbers, work and living conditions, spurring the government plans to gather data.

The labour bureau said that while it will track a significantly high number of migrants in the sample survey to be conducted over a period of six months, the quarterly employment survey will track firms across sectors.

“For the migrants’ survey we are taking a sample size of 300,000 households and for the establishments we are taking 150,000 companies’ quarter-on-quarter. This is huge for any type of survey conducted in the country," said D.P.S Negi, director general of the labur bureau.

By comparison, the quarterly employment survey India started in 2008-09 following the global financial crisis and continued till 2017, used to take a sample size of around 2,500 companies. The present survey, significantly larger in its size and scope, will cover firms employing 10 or more workers.

Labour minister Santosh Gangwar said the results of both the surveys will generate highly useful data for effective policymaking in the field of labour and employment. “We all know and have seen how the pandemic impacted the migrants. We are still not out of the pandemic but a robust data will help in better policymaking," Gangwar said.

Labour and employment secretary Apurva Chandra said from anecdotal evidence to hard facts, the survey will provide concrete evidence about the socio-economic condition of migrants, the number of migrants, their space and area of work. Chandra said the migrant’s survey will be completed in six months.

India witnessed a massive jobs crisis both in the formal and informal sector post the pandemic-induced lockdown. According to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy, the unemployment rate in April–May last year hovered between 20-25%.

Though the situation has improved, the job market is still shaky. “There is widespread underemployment and disguised employment. All the migrants have not returned as yet as the decent jobs are still missing," said Rahul Sapkal, assistant professor at the Tata Institute of Social Science.

While the government estimates nearly 10 million people went back home, experts and observers argue the real figure could be much higher.

Talking about the employment survey, Negi said it will expand the scope of jobs mapping as firms having 10 or more workers will give a real picture of jobs growth. It will also give an idea of the problems faced by various sectors including micro, medium and small enterprises (MSMEs) and what action is required to solve these problems.

“These surveys will prove highly useful in providing the government crucial data on migrant workers and the employment situation in formal and informal enterprises," Negi said.

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