What India’s labour force survey actually says about employment4 min read . Updated: 03 Aug 2021, 01:50 AM IST
The survey has indirectly revealed deeply entrenched problems related to the quality of jobs being generated in the country
The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2019-2020, released by the Indian government recently, in its summary findings, offers a credulity-stretching picture of a decline in the unemployment rate between 2017-18 and 2019-2020, together with an increase in the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), even as the real growth rate of the economy slipped. Thus, the PLFS reports a reduction in the usual- status unemployment rate from 6.1% in 2017-18 to 5.8% in 2018-19 and further to 4.8% in 2019-20, and a corresponding increase in the proportion of people participating in the country’s labour force (the LFPR, that is) from 36.9% to 37.5% and then further to 40.1% in 2019-20. These positive trends have occurred amid a decline in the economy’s real growth rate from 7% to 4.2% over that period. Thus, from a paradox of jobless growth in the past, India seems to have come full circle with ‘growthless employment’!