systemhalted by Palak Mathur

Employment and Unemployment Measurements in India

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I am copying this from Annual Report to People on Employment (2010) published by Ministry of  Labour and Employment, Government of India. This was the first comprehensive report on the subject. However, it would have been read by intellectuals of our country who would know that such a thing has been published. The billions of others have no means to know that there is such a report on employment. Even unemployed people including my own brother doesn't know that there is a report on him as well though whether he was part of any sample for the surveys is a different story altogether. Just to bring to the notice of us all, I am starting a series on excerpts from the same report. I don't think that government will mind my copying parts of their report word-to-word as the main motto behind any report published in public domain is to reach out to the maximum number of citizens of the country. So, here we go!!

Productive employment generation with good work conditions is an important concern not only for the national employment policy but also for the national agenda of inclusive growth. Although the overall economic growth achieved by the Indian economy, particularly during the current decade, has been impressive, employment growth has not kept pace. This has significantly limited the trickle-down effect and widespread distribution of the benefits of the high economic growth.

At a time, whenIndiais aiming to achieve double-digit economic growth, commensurate employment growth assumes crucial importance from the point of view of sustaining overall high growth in the medium to long term, distributing the benefits of growth, and affecting the rate of poverty reduction in the country.

National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) has been conducting quinquennial surveys on a regular basis since 1972-73 to generate national level data on employment and unemployment inIndia. The NSSO has, over time, developed and standardised measures of employment and unemployment. The NSSO collects data on employment and unemployment using three broad measures or approaches:

1. Usual Status;

2. Current Weekly Status; and

3. Current Daily Status.

The Usual Status is further categorised at two levels:

1. Usual Principal Status and

2. Usual Principal and Subsidiary Status.

 Usual Status relates to the activity status of a person during the reference period of last 365 days preceding the date of survey. The activity status on which a person spent relatively longer time (major time criterion) is considered the Usual Principal Status (UPS). To decide the usual principal activity status of a person, a two-stage classification is used to determine the broad activity status, viz., employed, unemployed and out of labour force within which, the detailed activity status is determined depending on the relatively longer time spent in the activities. Besides the usual principal activity status, a person could have pursued some economic activity for a smaller period, not less than 30 days. The status in which such economic activity is pursued is the subsidiary economic activity status of that person. If these two are taken together, the measure of Usual Principal and Subsidiary Status (UPSS) i.e. usual status is obtained.

 Current Weekly Status (CWS) of a person is the activity status obtained for a person during a reference period of 7 days preceding the date of survey. According to this, a person is considered as a worker if he/she has performed any economic activity at least for one hour on any day of the reference week, and is obtained on the basis of daily activities performed on each day of the reference period.

Current Daily Status (CDS) of a person is determined on the basis of his/her activity status on each day of the reference week using a priority-cum-major time criterion (day to day labour time disposition). Broadly, a person is considered working (employed) for the full day if he/she worked for 4 hours or more during the day.

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