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Home / News / India /  Quarterly jobs survey may be revived with a national scope

The quarterly employment survey (QES) of the labour bureau is likely to be revived with an expansion of its scope in terms of sampling, sectors and reach. The move is aimed at collecting data from establishments every three months and having a comprehensive view on job creation.

“The reliability of QES was never a doubt but it was limited in its scope earlier. The QES is back on the table with a much larger scope," said a government official requesting anonymity.

“From export orientation earlier, the new avatar of QES is expected to be national in scope, including manufacturing, services and mining sectors," the official said.

Started after the Lehman Brothers crisis in 2008-09 by the labour bureau, the QES focused on capturing economic slowdown’s impact on the jobs sector and collect employment creation data from nine export-oriented segments, most of which were in the manufacturing sector. These included textiles and apparel, metals, gems and jewellery, automobiles, transport, IT and BPO, leather, and handloom and power loom.

However, it was shelved in 2018 because of the skewed focus in a changed environment.

The sampling size will also be much larger and could increase from the earlier 2,300-odd units to more than 100,000 companies, including micro and small establishments. The objective is to capture the job creation numbers in a more comprehensive way, the official said. “A couple of meetings have already taken place on it," the official said.

“It’s being evaluated by a committee of experts. A final decision will be taken in due course," D.P.S. Negi, director general of the labour bureau said when asked about the development. The labour bureau is the data and survey wing of the Union labour ministry.

The lack of jobs has been a prickly issue in India with employment generation not keeping pace with demand.

The impact was more vigorous following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing nationwide lockdown.

All the sectors have now opened up, but the economic meltdown has crippled several sectors, left millions of white-collar workers without a job and many more with reduced income and little job security.

According to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, national and rural unemployment is at a six-month high in December and is hovering between 9% and 10% against a little more than 6% in November.

The government is looking for ways to capture information about jobs better and the Union labour ministry has already set up a committee led by renowned labour economist S.P. Mukherjee to help devise the way forward and fine-tune the details regarding capturing information about jobs created by professionals, Mint had reported in October.

“One method is household data and another is from establishments. They have their own benefits…but we must realize that jobs data in India is not robust yet and attempts to make them comprehensive will be good for all," said the official mentioned above who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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