In Focus: Periodic Labour Force Survey

In Focus: Periodic Labour Force Survey

  • In every economy, estimation of reliable employment and unemployment data is important.
  • The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) was historically conducting quinquennial (once in every five years) employment and unemployment surveys as part of its National Sample Surveys.
  • From April 2017, the NSSO has adopted a new employment and unemployment survey called Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS).
    • Note: In 2019, the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) was merged with the Central Statistical Office (CSO) to create National Statistical Office (NSO) .

  • The first annual report of the PLFS was published in June 2019 for the period of July 2017- June 2018.
  • The PLFS has now become the major employment and unemployment data of the National Statistical Office (NSO), replacing the previous five-year surveys. It aims to provide more employment data for more frequent intervals (annual and quarterly).

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The objective of PLFS is primarily two-fold:

  • Quarterly reports: To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators(LFPR, WPR and UR) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the Current Weekly Status (CWS).
  • Annual reports: To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both Usual Status (ps+ss) and Current Weekly Status (CWS) in both rural and urban areas annually.

Various indicators under PLFS:

  • Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR): LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in labour force in the population.
    • Labour force is defined as people who are working, or seeking work or available for work.

  • Worker Population Ratio (WPR): WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.
  • Unemployment Rate (UR): UR is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force.
    • Note: UR = (LFPR-WPR)/LFPR

Activity Status:

  • The activity status of a person is determined on the basis of the activities pursued by the person during the specified reference period.
  • Usual Status (ps + ss): When the activity status is determined on the basis of the reference period of last 365 days preceding the date of survey, it is known as the usual activity status of the person.
    • Principal activity status (ps)- The activity status on which a person spent relatively long time (major time criterion) during 365 days preceding the date of survey, was considered the usual principal activity status of the person.
    • Subsidiary economic activity status (ss)- The activity status in which a person in addition to his/ her usual principal status, performs some economic activity for 30 days or more for the reference period of 365 days preceding the date of survey, was considered the subsidiary economic status of the person.

  • Current Weekly Status (CWS): The activity status determined on the basis of a reference period of last 7 days preceding the date of survey is known as the current weekly status (CWS) of the person.

News Summary:

  • The annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for July 2020-September 2020 quarter has been released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
  • As per the data, amid Covid, unemployment rate in urban areas shot up to 13.3 per cent in July-September 2020.
    • This was higher than the 8.4 per cent in July-September 2019.

  • Unemployment data for urban areas is released quarterly based on Current Weekly Status (CWS).

 Economics

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