Contrary to a popular conjecture of dipping women in the workforce, the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released by the National Statistical Organization shows that women wage earners have increased more than men. The survey was conducted between April-June 2018 and January-March 2019 and it shows the data of the rising regular wage earners and salaried employees in the urban workforce where the total increase has been from 48.3 percent to 50 percent.

The data indicates that the rising trend has been steady in the last four quarters where women workers in the organised sector increased by 2.1 percent points while male salaried workers increased only by 1.5 percent points.

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That said, this was still the lowest growth rate in the last four quarters for which data is accessible. It still deduces that the labour market continues to ignore the looming unemployment crisis as more than one-fifth youth across cities who are present in the job market have failed to find employment in the last quarter of 2018-19, says the PLFS data.

The latest data is available of January-March 2019 quarter and it shows approximately 22.5 percent unemployment rate among people in the age group of 15-29 years. Women accounted in the labour force participation rate saw a major slowdown in economic contribution. The latest quarter shows a three-quarter dip at 36 percent. They are merely one-fourth of their male counterpart as women seeking work or employed are only 15 percent against 56 percent men.

Women seeking employment see a higher unemployment rate than men, as per the data. In quarter 4, 218-2019, a total of 29 percent women were found unemployed in comparison to 37 percent men after the fact that women already have a smaller share in the overall labour force than men.

Since this was a new data series, experts found it difficult to deduce any trend from it, reported TOI. “Let there be a time series and let the data stabilise and only then can we derive any trend,” said Pronab Sen, India’s former chief statistician.

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Women seeking employment see a higher unemployment rate than men, as per the data. In quarter 4, 218-2019, a total of 29 percent women were found unemployed in comparison to 37 percent men after the fact that women already have a smaller share in the overall labour force than men.

However, the data showed a decrease in the proportion of the self-employed people from 38.9 percent in April-June 2018 to 37.7 percent in the latest period surveyed. The agriculture sector also saw a fall along with mining, manufacturing and construction, while the tertiary sector including services rose.

Earlier in 2018, a Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) report hit the national headlines when it found out that out of the 11 million jobs lost, about 8.8 million belonged to women in comparison to 2.2 million that were owned by men. Of the total jobs lost by women, rural women lost 6.5 million jobs while urban women lost only 2.3 million jobs. However, the CMIE report has a different story to tell for men, as urban men ironically gained 5,00,000 jobs while the rural men lost 2.3 million jobs.

Picture credit: Livemint

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