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Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Why in news?

  • Statistics from the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for the quarter ending December 2019 show that the urban unemployment rate had been declining for four consecutive quarters.
  • India’s labour market was beginning to look up, despite a deceleration in GDP growth, before the Covid-19 pandemic forced a lockdown in March.


  • The urban unemployment was 7.9% in the quarter ending December 2019, compared to 9.9% in the same period the previous year. This is in keeping with the trend of a decline in the unemployment rate in the quarters ending June 2019 and September 2019 as well.
  • However, state-wise data showed that urban unemployment rate was higher than the national average in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Female unemployment rate decreased to 9.8% in October-December 2019 compared to 12.3% in October-December 2018.
  • Male unemployment rate moderated to 7.3% in October-December 2019 from 9.2% in October-December 2018.
  • Labour Force Participation Rate rose to 37.2% in October-December 2019 from 36.3% in October-December 2018.

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)

PLFS is India’s first computer-based survey launched by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in 2017.

It has been constituted based on the recommendation of a committee headed by Amitabh Kundu.

PLFS has two-fold objective:

  1. To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the Current Weekly Status (CWS).
  2. To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both usual status and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.

Before PLFS, the NSSO (previous name of NSO) used to bring the data related to employment and unemployment based on its quinquennial (every 5 year) household socio-economic survey programme.

-Source: Hindustan Times

February 2024