Context: Second Annual report was released by the National Statistical Office based on Periodic labour force survey conducted during July 2018 - June 2019. 

More on the news: 

  • The survey was conducted during July 2018 - June 2019, covering 1,01,579 households and surveying 4,20,757 persons. 


  • Considering the importance of availability of labour force data at more frequent time intervals, the National Statistical Office (NSO) launched Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017. 
  • The first Annual Report (July 2017- June 2018) covering both rural and urban areas was released in May 2019. 

About the survey:

  • The objective of PLFS is to estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both usual status and CWS (Current weekly Status) in both rural and urban areas annually.
    • Usual Status: The activity status of a person is determined on the basis of the activities pursued by the person during the specified reference period. 
      • When the activity status is determined on the basis of the reference period of the last 365 days preceding the date of survey, it is known as the usual activity status of the person.
    • Current Weekly Status (CWS): The activity status determined on the basis of a reference period of the last 7 days preceding the date of survey is known as the current weekly status (CWS) of the person.
  • The key indicators are Worker Population Ratio (WPR), Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) and Unemployment rate(UR).
    • LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in the labour force (i.e. working or seeking or available for work) in the population.
    • WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.
    • UR is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force.

Key Findings:

  • India’s unemployment rate inched lower to 5.8 per cent in 2018-19 (July-June) from 6.1 per cent a year ago.
  • The labour force participation rate during 2018-19 rose to 37.5 per cent as against 36.9 per cent in the previous year.
  • Category Specific
    • Scheduled Castes - It rose from 6.3 % to 6.4% 
    • Schedule Tribe - It rose from 4.3% to 4.5%
    • Other Backward Classes - It inched lower to 5.9% from 6 %
  • Age Specific: 
    • In 2018-19, the unemployment rate for youth in the 15-29 years age bracket moderated but remained high at 17.3 per cent, as against 17.8 per cent a year ago. 
    • Unemployment rate among urban youth was higher than the all-India number at 20.2 percent as against 20.6 per cent a year ago.
  • Gender Specific: 
    • The male-female split showed that unemployment rate for urban females remained higher than the all-India number at 25.7 per cent in 2018-19, but was lower than 27.2 per cent in 2017-18.
    • Unemployment rate for males moderated to 6 per cent in 2018-19 from 6.2 per cent a year ago.
    • For females it inched lower to 5.2 per cent from 5.7 per cent. 
  • Region Specific:
    • Urban - It eased marginally to 7.7% from earlier 7.8%
    • Rural - It lowered to 5% from 5.3%
  • Literacy specific:
    • Unemployment rate for persons with secondary and above education level stood at 11 per cent during 2018-19 as against 11.4 per cent in 2017-18.   


  • It is a situation under which a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work.
  • Unemployment rate = (Unemployed Workers / Total labour force) × 100

Types of Unemployment:

  • Open Unemployment :It is a situation wherein a large section of the labour force does not get a job that may yield them a regular income.
  • Underemployment: It is a situation in which people employed contribute less than their capacity to produce.
    • In this type of unemployment, people are not gainfully employed.
  • Disguised Unemployment: It is a situation in which more people are doing work than actually required.
    • Even if some are withdrawn, production does not suffer.
  • Seasonal Unemployment : Unemployment occurring during some months of the year due to seasonal unavailability of work.
  • Cyclical Unemployment : Caused by trade cycles at regular intervals. 
    • Generally, capitalist economies are subject to trade cycles.
  • Educated Unemployment: Among the educated people, apart from open unemployment, many are underemployed because their qualification does not match the job.
  • Technological Unemployment: It is the result of certain changes in the techniques of production which may not warrant much labour.
  • Structural Unemployment :Occur due to drastic changes in the economic structure of a country. These changes may affect either the supply of a factor or demand for a factor of production.
  • Casual Unemployment : When a person is employed on a day-to-day basis, casual unemployment may occur due to short-term contracts, shortage of raw materials, fall in demand, change of ownership etc.
  • Frictional Unemployment : It is sometimes called search unemployment and can be based on the circumstances of the individual. 
    • It is time spent between jobs when a worker is searching for a job or transferring from one job to another.


Image Source: Indian Express