India's labour force is gradually gaining ground. While the unemployment rate among females aged 15 years and above in urban areas declined to 10.5%, for males the figure was 8.3% in the October-December quarter.
The unemployment rate for persons of 15 years and above in urban areas slipped to 8.7 percent in October-December 2021 from 10.3 percent in the year-ago quarter, according to a periodic labour force survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO). Joblessness or unemployment rate (UR) is defined as the percentage of unemployed persons in the labour force.
Joblessness was high in October-December in 2020 mainly due to the staggering impact of the lockdown restrictions in the country, which were imposed to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The unemployment rate for persons of age 15 years and above in July-September 2021 was 9.8 percent in urban areas, the 13th Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) showed.
It also showed that the unemployment rate among females (aged 15 years and above) in urban areas also declined to 10.5 percent in October-December 2021 from 13.1 percent a year ago. It was 11.6 percent in July-September 2021. Among males, the unemployment rate in urban areas also dipped to 8.3 percent in October-December 2021 compared to 9.5 percent a year ago. It was 9.3 percent in July-September 2021.
Labour force participation rate in CWS (current weekly status) in urban areas for persons 15 years of age and above remained unchanged at 47.3 percent in the October-December quarter of 2021, compared to the same period a year ago. It was 46.9 percent in July-September 2021. Labour force refers to the part of the population which supplies or offers to supply labour for pursuing economic activities for the production of goods and services and therefore, includes both employed and unemployed persons.
NSO launched PLFS in April 2017. On the basis of PLFS, a quarterly bulletin is brought out giving estimates of labour force indicators, namely unemployment rate, worker population ratio (WPR), labour force participation rate (LFPR), distribution of workers by broad status in employment and industry of work in current weekly status (CWS). The estimates of unemployed persons in CWS give an average picture of unemployment in a short period of seven days during the survey period.
In the CWS approach, a person is considered unemployed if he/she did not work even for one hour on any day during the week but sought or was available for work at least for one hour on any day during the period. Labour force according to CWS is the number of persons either employed or unemployed on an average in a week preceding the date of the survey. LFPR is defined as the percentage of the population in the labour force.
WPR (in percent) in CWS in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above stood at 43.2 percent in October-December 2021, up from 42.4 percent in the same period a year ago. It was 42.3 percent in July-September 2021.
Twelve quarterly bulletins corresponding to the quarter ending December 2018 to the quarter ending September 2021 have already been released. The present quarterly bulletin is the 13th in the series for the October-December 2021 quarter.