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

LabourSubscribe to Labour

Loss of Job, Work, and Income in the Time of COVID-19

The counter-intuitive nature of the results of the Periodic Labour Force Survey 2019–20 is unravelled by arguing that in a situation of exogeneous shock, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the poor and vulnerable working people will be forced to engage in some kind of economic activity for sustaining...

Changes in Uttar Pradesh’s Labour Market Outcomes

This article portrays the trajectory of Uttar Pradesh’s labour market outcomes between 2011 and 2020 based on the employment and unemployment situation and the Periodic Labour Force Survey data. It finds a deepening employment crisis in the state, worse than what is prevailing in the country; this crisis is severe in rural areas and for women, though even men, in comparison to their status in the past, find themselves in a new low. We find absolute declines in labour and workforce in the state with shrinking self and casual employment. There is an increase in regular salaried jobs, both in absolute terms and proportions. The employment crisis has affected people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder more, marking a dangerous form of livelihood crisis in the state.

How Reliable Is Labour Market Data in India?

Public perception about the pattern of shock on the employment rate during COVID-19 is based on the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy data, which is widely referred to in public debates, corporate policy-making, and banking sector. The question that crops up then is how reliable is the CMIE data on the labour market? Here, the examination of the employment ratio indicator of the Periodic Labour Force Survey and CMIE is extended to two another very important labour market indicators, that are, labour force participation rate and unemployment rate, and a comparison of the PLFS and CMIE is carried out to look at their trends and association.

Reversing the Gaze

If the global South has for long been studied from afar, given its colonial history, what knowledge can reversing the gaze from a distance produce?

Striving for Begumpura: Traversing the Intellectual Activism of Gail Omvedt

​Writer, researcher, life-long fellow traveller of the progressive movements and long-time author with the Economic & Political Weekly, Gail Omvedt passed away on 25 August 2021. In this reading list, we present some of the highlights of her scholarship published in EPW.

Labour Force and Employment Growth in India

This study analyses the changing structure of the labour force and employment in India using the Employment and Unemployment Survey (2011–12) and the Periodic Labour Force Surveys I and II (2017–18 and 2018–19). The estimates indicate that there was a mere improvement in employment from 2017–18 to 2018–19; however, as this was accompanied by a decline in the size of the workforce between 2011–12 and 2017–18, this does not indicate recovery. The unemployment rate, especially that of youth, remains at a historic high. A remarkable decline in the share of agriculture in the workforce without a corresponding increase in the non-agricultural sector indicates a somewhat distorted structural transformation. A sizeable portion of the female population has been withdrawn from the labour and workforces.

National Manufacturing Policy

With the introduction of the National Manufacturing Policy, 2011, India envisioned capacity expansion and sustainable growth. As the NMP is approaching its target deadline of 2022, this article is a reality check on the progress of its major objectives. Introspecting these objectives, it argues for the need to devise and enact the rehabilitation of manufacturing strategies to suit the changing times.

Rural–Urban Linkages in Bihar

The growth of the manufacturing sector is important for employing a growing labour force and much is also dependent on their skill level. Enterprise surveys in six sample towns of Bihar, a state characterised by slow industrialisation and urbanisation, find evidence of fairly strong rural–urban linkages for manufacturing enterprises. Although the linkages indicate that the manufacturing sector has the maximum potential to create employment by absorbing the surplus labour in the rural areas, it was found that this sector has been languishing in the sample towns. The findings also flag the challenges and areas of growth for industries.

Rural–Urban Disparity in the Standard of Living across States of India

The rural–urban disparity in the standard of living in India is estimated on the basis of per capita consumption or use of non-durable goods, durable consumer goods, and house and living facilities enjoyed by the population of the rural and urban sectors in major states of India in 2011–12. This estimate shows that the rural–urban disparity in the standard of living is the highest in Jharkhand and Odisha and the lowest in Punjab and Kerala. The interstate variation in rural–urban disparity is negatively correlated with per capita state domestic product, degree of urbanisation, level of agricultural development, and per capita amount of remittances received by rural households. It is positively correlated with the percentage of state population below the poverty line.

Economic Impact of COVID-19-induced Lockdown on Rural Households

Through a series of data visualisations, the article attempts to illustrate the economic repercussions of the COVID-19-induced lockdown of 2020 on rural households. It focuses on how consumption, labour and income, healthcare, access to relief programmes and migration were effected by the lockdown in six major states.

Understanding the Skills and Livelihood Aspirations of the Working Homeless Men of Yamuna Pushta

Delhi’s homeless migrants work daily wage jobs that provide temporary housing on worksites, but they often endure abuse from their contractors and employers and receive low to no wages. The city’s approximately 200 shelters allot 18 square feet per resident, which is far below the National Urban Livelihoods Mission’s Scheme of Shelters for Urban Homeless guideline of 50 square feet per person. Labourers in Yamuna Pushta use congested shelters because the nearby jobs determine their survival. In this context, the homeless labourers’ working and shelter conditions, the skills they possess, and the barriers they face to decent working conditions are examined.

Global Unemployment and Inequality during 1991–2019

Based on secondary data, the paper discusses the changes in global unemployment and inequality between 1991 and 2019. The analysis reveals that the rate of unemployment and incidence of inequality have either increased or remained stubbornly high in almost all the countries under study...

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