News related to high unemployment rate during December, 2022 has been published in some sections of the media based on a survey conducted by a private company. It is important to note that many private companies/organisations conduct surveys based on their own methodologies which are generally neither scientific nor based on internationally accepted norms. Moreover, the methodology used by these companies/organisations usually have a bias towards over-reporting unemployment or under-reporting employment due to their own sampling procedure and definitions used for collection of data on employment/unemployment. The results of such surveys should be used with caution.
The official data on “Employment–Unemployment” is released by Ministry of Statistical and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) based on Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). The latest Annual PLFS report is available for the survey period July, 2020 to June, 2021 for estimates at all India level. The quarterly PLFS report is also released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation for Urban areas. The quarterly reports are available till July – September, 2022.
As per the available PLFS report, the worker population ratio i.e. employment for person aged 15 years and above was at the level of 44.5% during July – September, 2022 compared to 43.4% during the same quarter in 2019. The unemployment rate during July-September, 2022 stood at the level of 7.2% compared to 8.3% in July-September, 2019. Thus, the data of PLFS indicates that the employment market has not only recovered the jolt of Covid-19 pandemic, but also is at levels higher than the pre-pandemic level.