Employment in 9 sectors at 3.08 crore; Covid job cuts in 27% establishments

Regular workers constituted 88 per cent of the estimated workforce in the nine selected sectors, with only 2 per cent being casual workers.

Organised sector employment in nine key sectors — construction, manufacturing, IT/BPO, trade, transport, education, health, accommodation & restaurant and financial services — increased to 3.08 crore in April-June this year from 2.37 crore in 2013-14, the base year chosen based on the sixth economic census.

As per the newly launched Quarterly Employment Survey, which replaced the earlier suspended QES, this translates into a growth of 29 per cent from 2013-14 or roughly an annual growth of 4 per cent per annum.

While some sectors saw rise in employment rates since 2013-14, such as IT/BPO (152 per cent), health (77 per cent), education (39 per cent), manufacturing (22 per cent), transport (68 per cent) and construction (42 per cent), employment was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in trade, where it came down by 25 per cent and in accommodation & restaurant by 13 per cent.

Labour and Employment Minister Bhupender Yadav, while releasing the report of QES (April to June 2021), of the All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey (AQEES), said such surveys will help in data-based policymaking. “The government is committed to two things: evidence-based policy and statistics-based execution … these two things will help in developing policymaking based on every survey and data. The data integrity and purity is of utmost importance so much so that it can even be cross examined,” he said.

Assessing the impact of Covid-19 on employment in the organised non-farm segment, the report said employment decreased in 27 per cent of the establishments due to the pandemic. During the lockdown period (March 25-June 30, 2020), 81 per cent of workers received full wages, 16 per cent received reduced wages and only 3 per cent were denied any wages, it said. In the health and financial services sectors, however, more than 90 per cent workers received full wages, while 27 per cent had to accept reduced wages in the construction sector and 7 per cent were left with none.

Overall participation of female workers was at 29 per cent, lower than 31 per cent reported in the 6th economic census in 2013-14.

Regular workers constituted 88 per cent of the estimated workforce in the nine selected sectors, with only 2 per cent being casual workers. However, 18 per cent of workers in the construction sector are contractual employees and 13 per cent are casual workers.

Nine per cent of the establishments (with at least 10 workers) were not registered with any authority or under any act, while 26 per cent of all the establishments were registered under the Companies Act — with 71 per cent registration in IT/BPO, 58 per cent in construction, 46 per cent in manufacturing, 42 per cent in transport, 35 per cent in trade and 28 per cent in financial services. Around 18 per cent of the establishments have provision of on-job skill training programmes.

Nearly 90 per cent of the establishments have been estimated to work with less than 100 workers, as against 95 per cent corresponding figure during the economic census. Prof SP Mukherjee, Chairman, Expert Group on All India Surveys said it’s not just any haphazard sampling design. “I know quite a few reports coming from different unofficial organisations where I can claim the sampling design fails to focus on the domains which are sectors of the Indian economy and fails to represent different size classes. This is one report … where decile classes have been all represented which is a very strong point of design that we have adopted for this report.”

The earlier version of QES was suspended in 2018 citing gap in numbers with the payroll data. The new QES is similar in sampling design to the earlier version but the estimation methodology is different, officials said. It has data for an additional sector — financial services.

There are two components under AQEES, QES and Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES). QES has been initiated to compile relevant data from about 12,000 establishments selected through a sampling design to represent each of the nine sectors within each state/Union Territory, as also each size-class (range of number of workers) within each sector-State/UT. AFES covers the unorganised segment (with less than 10 workers) through a sample survey, fieldwork for which will begin soon and results are expected after 6-7 months.

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