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December 3, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm


The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), provides crucial insights into India’s urban unemployment scenario. The recently released data for July-September 2023 offers key highlights, depicting trends in unemployment rates, worker-population ratios, and labour force participation rates. Understanding the PLFS and its related terms is essential for comprehending the employment landscape in urban areas.

Major Highlights of the Recent PLFS:

Urban Unemployment Rate:

  • Declined from 7.2% (July–September 2022) to 6.6% (July–September 2023).
  • Male unemployment decreased from 6.6% to 6%, while female unemployment showed a positive trend, dropping from 9.4% to 8.6%.

Worker-Population Ratio:

  • Increased from 44.5% (July-September 2022) to 46% (July-September 2023) for individuals aged 15 years and above.
  • Male ratio rose from 68.6% to 69.4%, and female ratio increased from 19.7% to 21.9%.

Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR):

  • Rose from 47.9% (July-September 2022) to 49.3% (July–September 2023).
  • Male LFPR marginally increased from 73.4% to 73.8%, while female LFPR exhibited a substantial rise from 21.7% to 24.0%.

About Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS):

  • Launched by NSSO in April 2017 to provide more frequent labour force data.
  • Defines unemployment rate as the percentage of unemployed persons among those in the labour force.
  • Aims to estimate key employment and unemployment indicators in urban areas at three-month intervals.

Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR):

Percentage of people aged 15 and above employed or actively seeking work.

Worker Population Ratio (WPR):

Measures the percentage of employed individuals within the total population.

Unemployment Rate (UR):

Indicates the percentage of unemployed persons among those in the labour force.

Activity Status:

  • PS (Principal Activity Status): Primary activity engaged in for a substantial period.
  • SS (Subsidiary Economic Activity Status): Additional economic activities performed apart from the usual primary activity.
  • CWS (Current Weekly Status): Reflects a person’s activities during the immediate past 7 days.

Major Issues Related to Unemployment in Urban Areas:

Structural Unemployment: Disparity between workforce skills and industry demands. Education system misalignment with job market needs.

Informal Sector Dominance: Significant urban workforce in informal sector with low pay and job insecurity. Seasonal fluctuations leading to inconsistent employment.

Demographic Challenges: Rapid urbanization and migration straining job market. Oversupply of labour due to rural-to-urban migration.

Credential Inflation: Overemphasis on qualifications leading to overqualified individuals. Results in underemployment or unemployment.

Government’s Initiatives Related to Employment:

  • Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE).
  • PM-DAKSH (Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi).
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
  • Start Up India Scheme.
  • Rozgar Mela.
  • Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme- Rajasthan.

Way Forward:

Reformative Education: Align education with market demands. Update curricula for relevant skills and emphasize vocational training.

Startup Ecosystem Support: Provide financial incentives and reduce bureaucratic hurdles for startups. Offer mentorship programs to encourage entrepreneurship.

Pro-Employment Policies: Formulate policies promoting job creation. Invest in infrastructure and provide fiscal incentives for employment-generating businesses.

Promoting Creative Economy: Invest in cultural industries and creative sectors. Support artisans, performers, and craftsmen for employment through cultural entrepreneurship.

Green Spaces and Urban Agriculture: Promote urban agriculture and green spaces. Create employment in farming, gardening, and eco-friendly activities.

Understanding the PLFS data and addressing urban unemployment issues through strategic policies and initiatives is crucial for India’s economic growth and inclusive development.


December 3, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
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