Wrong to infer that half of working age population dropped out of labour force: Government  

Labour Ministry says a substantial portion of the said population is either pursuing education or engaged in unpaid activities

April 26, 2022 09:45 pm | Updated April 27, 2022 07:28 am IST - NEW DELHI

Daily wage labourers wait to be hired for work at Bhajanpura Chowk in New Delhi. File

Daily wage labourers wait to be hired for work at Bhajanpura Chowk in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

Responding to a recent report of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the Union Labour and Employment Ministry on Tuesday said it was “factually incorrect” to infer that half the working age population had dropped out of the labour force as a large proportion was pursuing education or engaged in unpaid activities such as caregiving.

“Employment is the primary concern of the Government of India and various steps are being taken by ministries/departments for generation of employment opportunities in the country… It is important to note that the complete working age population may not be working or seeking work. A substantial portion of working age population is either pursuing education… or engaged in unpaid activities like production of goods for own consumption, unpaid domestic activities or caregiving services for household members, volunteering, training, etc.,” the Ministry said in a statement.

The statement said, according to the Education Ministry, more than 10 crore people were enrolled in secondary, higher secondary, higher or technical education in 2019-2020 and 49% of that was women.

“Majority of these students pursuing higher education are in the working age population but, all of them may not be seeking work. Similarly, not all female engaged in unpaid domestic services for household members may be seeking paid work,” the Ministry said.

Fall in unemployment rate

It added that the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation’s Periodic Labour Force Survey had shown an increase in the labour force participation rate, which is the percentage of population either working or seeking work, from 49.8% in 2017-2018 to 53.5% in 2019-2020 and a decrease of unemployment rate from 6% to 4.8%. It said the Economic Survey 2021-2022 had indicated an increase of 4.75 crore in employment in 2019-2020 from 2018-2019.

According to a Labour Ministry official, the CMIE report that showed a decline in the labour force participation rate from 46% to 40%, did not prepare a frame of households of sample village/block for the survey.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.