Why in News?

The govt has finally released Annual Report of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)
2017-18 and the Quarterly Bulletin PLFS.

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS):

  • The PLFS was launched from 1st April 2017.
  • Primary aim of the PLFS is to generate reasonably accurate indicators of labour market at
    a short span for every quarter for which speed of quality data collection and processing
    are important.
  • PLFS was launched with the objective of measuring employment every three months in
    urban areas and once a year in both rural and urban areas.
  • The quarterly survey only captures data classed as current weekly status (CWS), while the
    annual survey measures both the usual status and CWS.
  • The NSSO was historically conducting Employment and Unemployment Surveys as part
    of its National Sample Surveys.

Who are the Unemployed?

  • Labour force means people working or looking for jobs in the age group of 15-29 years.
  • CWS Method: A person who is unable to get work for even an hour in the last seven days
    despite seeking employment is considered unemployed.
  • Usual Status Method: Under this, the employment activity of a person is determined on
    the basis of a reference period of 365 days preceding the date of the survey.


  • Labour force participation has been declining and touched 36.9% in 2017-18 as more
    among them, especially females, enrolled for higher studies.
  • The youth accounted for 28.2% of urban males and 27.8% of urban females.
  • During 2017-18, among people aged 15-29 years, the share of the educated was 65.8%
    among urban males. It was 65.4% among urban females.
  • A higher percentage of males compared to females had received either formal or nonformal vocational training.

Reality of jobless growth:

  • The rising unemployment rate despite falling labour force participation for the youth is
    more worrying.
  • This is likely to raise questions about whether India is suffering from jobless growth.
  • According to Census 2011, India has 333 million youth—a number that is likely to touch
    367 million in 2021 and 370 million by 2031.
  • With this huge rise in youth unemployment, it is hard to reconcile this information with
    the EPFO data that people keep talking about, because a majority of the new entrants to
    EPFO would be the younger people.
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