THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 13 October 2018 (Unemployment, really)

Unemployment, really

Mains Paper: 3 | Economic Development 
Prelims level: Consumer Pyramids Household Survey
Mains level: Issues relating to unemployment in India 


  • CPHS has a sample size of 1,78,000 households in comparison to NSSO’s 1,20,000.
  • CPHS is necessarily conducted using hand-held GPS-enabled devices while NSSO surveys are done using paper with no tracking devices.
  • CPHS data is validated 100 per cent in real-time by supervisors while the survey is being executed. NSSO validations are offline.
  • CPHS results are released within a few hours of the completion of the survey, while NSSO survey results are released after 6-8 months of the completion of the survey.
  • All the record-level data and the source-code to derive the estimates is available for anyone to check the estimates.
  • Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS)
  • National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO)

What does the NSSO survey tell us about female labour participation rate?

  • If we use the current daily status estimates, female labour participation rate fell from 31.1 per cent in 2004-05 to 25.1 per cent in 2009-10 and further to 23.3 per cent in 2011-12.
  • This translates into a fall at the rate of 1.11 percentage points a year.
  • CPHS says that the female labour participation rate fell further at the rate of 1.39 percentage points per year between 2011-12 (NSSO) and mid-2016.
  • Mid 2016 is the period (May-August 2016) when CMIE completed its last survey just before demonetisation.
  • Demonetisation is a game-changer and therefore, we must distinguish the period before and after this huge economic shock.
  • The female labour participation rate fell from 23.3 per cent in 2011-12 (as per NSSO) to 16.37 during May-August 2016 (as per CPHS).
  • A rate of fall of 1.11 per cent points per annum rose to 1.39 per cent points per annum.

Way forward 

  • The dramatic fall comes after 2016 that is after demonetisation.
  • This is when the female labour participation rate fell by a massive 4.93 percentage points in just one year.
  • Male labour force participation rate fell by a lower 2.5 percentage points, from 74.76 per cent to 72.33 per cent during the same period.
  • CPHS is a longitudinal panel survey. It repeatedly surveys the same households with the same questions. It also uses the same weights and estimation procedures.
  • 2.37 crore applicants were trying their luck for 2 lakh jobs in the Indian Railways.
  • Many had started losing hope merely by seeing the level of competition for jobs.
  • Many leave the labour markets when they lose hope.

Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) With reference to Periodic Labour Force Survey, consider the following statements:
1. It aims to provide labour and employment data for both urban and rural India.
2. It is conducted by National Sample Survey Office.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer:  C

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) What does the NSSO survey tell us about female labour participation rate in India?

For Study Materials Call Us at +91 8800734161 (MON-SAT 11AM-7PM)