Five Crore Rural Women Have Left National Job Market Since 2005

International Day of Rural Women

According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-2018 report by NSSO, over five crore rural women have left the national job market since 2004-05. Besides that, female participation has gone down by seven percentage points since 2011-12. As a result, an estimate of 2.8 crore fewer women are looking for jobs.

Reasons cited

According to experts, more women taking up education is one reason for this drop. However, this doesn’t translate to jobs all the time. Another reason is that a lot of women quit jobs on realizing that the job market is dominated by men. Yet another reason cited is the stigma associated with women who step out and work.

According to The Indian Express, “economic disruptions,” presumably such as demonetization and GST are to be blamed for the downturn.

Here are the other important findings from the report

  1. The decline is more visible in the working age group of 15-59 years. In this bracket, the rural female participation rate fell from 49.4 per cent in 2004-05 to 35.8 per cent in 2011-12 and further to 24.6 per cent in 2017-18. In effect, the participation of rural women of working age has been halved since 2004-05.
  2. Female participation in the urban segment saw growth by 0.4 percentage points in the six years ending 2017-18. This resulted in 12 lakh more job seekers.
  3. Also, the share of regular wage/salaried jobs for women registered an increase since 2011-12. In the urban sector, the jump is by 9.6 percentage points and, in actual terms, accounts for an additional 20 lakh jobs. In the rural sector, the segment’s share increased by 4.9% percentage points and it translated into 15 lakh more jobs.
  4. Among urban female workers, the share of non-agricultural informal sector – unincorporated proprietary and partnership enterprises in areas such as manufacturing garments, paper, wood and straw products, etc – came down by 13.6 percentage points.
  5. The share of non-agricultural informal sector has also seen a decline by 13.4 percentage points among rural female workers but that has been the trend since 2004-05. For the urban female workers, the slide is sharp.

CMIE report

According to a report by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) release in January 2019, India saw a major job crunch last year and women were the worst affected people.

Key Findings:

  • According to the CMIE report, rural women lost 6.5 million jobs while urban women lost only 2.3 million jobs.
  • It goes differently for men as urban men actually gained 5,00,000 jobs while the rural men lost 2.3 million jobs.

“So, the breakdown of employment statistics by the various attributes of respondents discussed above tells us that a person who lost the job in 2018 mostly fits a profile like — is a woman, particularly a woman in rural India, is uneducated and is a wage labourer or a farm labourer or is a small-scale trader and is under 40 years or more than 60 years,” the report said.

“India’s unemployment rate shot up to 7.4 per cent in December 2018. This is the highest unemployment rate we’ve seen in 15 months. The rate has increased sharply from the 6.6 per cent clocked in November,” the report further added.

Also: Girls’ Toilets In Schools Doubled In Last Decade: Rural Education Report