ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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What Do the Latest Estimates Reveal?

On the Adequacy of the Quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey

This article examines the difference between the estimates of unemployment rate and worker population ratio in urban areas in the Periodic Labour Force Surveys for the quarters ending March and June 2021. It further investigates the sample size needed if the survey is to be equipped to detect the quarterly changes of specifi ed magnitudes in the respective population parameter.

To meet the growing demand for employment–unemployment statistics at more frequent intervals, the National Statistical Office (NSO) in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, launched the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017. It is the primary source of data on the employment–unemployment situation in the country. For the benefit of various types of data users, including the government and other organisations, apart from making available the unit-level data based on the survey, the NSO has been bringing out annual estimates of detailed statistics on employment–unemployment covering both rural and urban areas of the country in the form of annual reports1 and quarterly estimates of only key indicators of employment–unemployment, namely labour force participation rate (LFPR), worker population ratio (WPR), and unemployment rate (UR) pertaining to urban areas as per the current weekly status (CWS) app­roach through “Quarterly Bulletins.”2 The latest quarterly estimates of LFPR, WPR, and UR for major states and all India relate to the quarter ending June 2021 released on 14 March 2022.

As regards the broad sample design of the PLFS, it adopts a stratified multistage design with first stage units (FSUs) being 2011 Census villages (panchayat wards in the case of Kerala) in rural areas and the latest urban frame survey blocks in urban areas, while the ultimate stage units (USUs) are the households. For the purpose of sampling of FSUs in the case of both rural and urban areas, each National Sample Survey (NSS) region (being a group of contiguous districts) is treated as a separate broad stratum. Due care is taken by way of further deep stratification to ensure representation of FSUs belonging to different population size classes of villages/towns, with each city having a population of 1.5 million or more as per Census 2011 being treated as a separate stratum by itself. The “large” FSUs with present population exceeding a certain threshold are stratified into a number of segments and a sample of two segments is considered for listing and sampling of households. From each selected FSU, a sample of eight households is selected randomly after stratifying the listed house­holds into a number of second stage strata (three in the case of rural and four in the case of urban) as per the number of members in the household having the level of general education as secondary or above.

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Updated On : 24th Apr, 2022
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