The unemployment rate or the proportion of persons in the labour force who could not find jobs has dipped to 4.2 per cent in July 2020-June 2021 from 4.8 per cent a year ago amid the pandemic that caused economic disruption, showed a government survey.
The unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent in 2018-19 and 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, as per a statement on the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) issued by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Tuesday.
According to the PLFS annual report (July 2020 to June 2021), the joblessness or unemployment rate (UR) for persons of all ages came down to 4.2 per cent from 4.8 per cent a year ago (2019-20).
The data showed that joblessness has come down gradually during the four years till 2020-21 (July to June).
Similarly, the UR among males has also come down to 4.5 per cent in 2020-21 from 5.1 in 2019-20, six per cent in 2018-19 and 6.2 per cent in 2017-18.
The same trend of decline in the UR was found among females as it dipped to 3.5 per cent 2020-21 from 4.2 per cent in 2019-20, 5.2 per cent in 2018-19 and 5.7 per cent in 2017-18.
Worker Population Ratio (WPR) has also improved. The WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.
The WPR has increased to 39.8 per cent in 2020-21 from 38.2 in 2019-20, 35.3 per cent in 2018-20 and 34.7 per cent in 2017-18.
The WPR in females also improved to 24.2 per cent in 2020-21 from 21.8 per cent in 2019-20. The WPR among males also rose to 54.9 per cent from 53.9 per cent in 2019-20.
Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has also increased. The LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in the labour force (i.e. working or seeking or available for work)in the population.
The LFPR has risen to 41.6 per cent in 2020-21 from 40.1 per cent in 2019-20. It has also increased among males to 57.5 per cent in 2020-21 from 56.8 per cent in 2019-20. It rose in females to 25.1 per cent in 2020-21 from 22.8 per cent in 2019-20.
The MOSPI stated that the fieldwork of the PLFS was suspended first time on March 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was resumed in June 2020 with the pending samples for this period.
This, therefore, had a spill-over effect on the completion of fieldwork allotted for the survey period from July 2020 to June 2021, it said.
Subsequently, there was another spill-over effect due to the second wave of COVID-19 when the fieldwork of the PLFS was again suspended in April 2021 in most parts of the country, it added.
The fieldwork was gradually resumed in the first week of June 2021 with the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions.
First visit samples were canvassed physically with retrospective referencing in case of delayed samples. Field work for the collection of information in respect of the selected samples of the survey period July 2020-June 2021 was completed by September 30, 2021, it informed.
The PFLS is conducted to estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the ‘Current Weekly Status’ (CWS).
The sample size for the survey July 2020-June 2021 in rural and urban areas for the Annual Report was 12,562 first-stage units (6,930 villages and 5,632 urban blocks).
The number of households surveyed was 1,00,344 (55,389 in rural areas and 44,955 in urban areas) and the number of persons surveyed was 4,10,818 (2,36,279 in rural areas and 1,74,539 in urban areas).