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NSSO surveys to CMIE data: How India’s 4 major jobs reports are prepared

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ThePrint takes a look at the criteria and frequency of various employment surveys in India.

New Delhi: As debate rages about the Modi government’s decision to withhold the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)’s jobs data collected through periodic labour force surveys that showed unemployment rate was at a 45-year high of 6.1 per cent, ThePrint takes a look at the criteria and frequency of some of India’s major employment surveys that report jobs scenario in the country.

NSSO’s PLFS-based employment and unemployment report: Periodic labour force surveys or household surveys conducted by the NSSO were launched in April 2017 and were aimed at providing reliable job level data. The survey provides annual estimates for both rural and urban areas for major parameters such as labour force participation rate, worker population ratio, unemployment rate, distribution of workers by industry, occupation, workers employed in informal sector and conditions of employment of the workers.

It also provides quarterly estimates for urban areas for parameters such as labour force participation rate, worker population ratio and unemployment rate using the current weekly status method.

An annual survey of employment and unemployment starting for the year 2017-18, conducted between July 2017 and June 2018, was collated through the periodic labour force surveys. This is the report that has been withheld by the Modi government.

Also read: Modi govt refutes statistics panel charges, unlikely to release jobs data anytime soon

Annual Survey of Industries: The Central Statistics Office-conducted annual survey provides a comprehensive manufacturing sector data, including employment details. However, it covers only the organised industrial sector and not the unorganised sector. The data is released annually but with a one-year lag. As of today, data is available till 2016-17.

Payroll reporting: The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) brings out monthly estimates of new members enrolling in the large social security schemes like Employees Provident Fund, Employees’ State Insurance Scheme and the National Pension Scheme. Economists, however, believe this data is a good indicator of the formalisation of the workforce rather than job creation in the economy. Also, there is a greater chance of overlap as the same subscriber may be counted more than once.

CMIE data: The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) releases unemployment data on a monthly basis as well as on a daily moving average basis. The unemployment rate is arrived at based on a sample size of 1.74 lakh households, majority of which are urban households.

Also read: 13 waiter jobs in Maharashtra govt go to 12 college graduates and a 12th pass


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