India to conduct quarterly, annual employment surveys

24 October 2015

India will have its first official jobs data once the ministry of statistics and programme implementation launches its quarterly and annual surveys on employment.

The new survey, which will help bridge a major deficit in the country's macro-economic data, is likely to be launched by early next year through the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), official sources said.

''We are in the process of getting administrative clearances. The methodology has already been finalised and the surveys should be launched soon,'' said TCA Anant, the country's chief statistician.

Once implemented, it will enable both policymakers and analysts to better assess the impact of policies on the real-time job market.

The lack of frequent and regular estimates on employment and unemployment in the country is considered a major handicap for planning and policymaking.

According to the plan, the ministry will conduct quarterly surveys in urban areas and annual surveys across the country to assess the employment and unemployment situation.

At present, official data on employment and unemployment across the country are released every five years by the NSSO.

The latest data on employment available at present is based on a survey carried out by the NSSO in 2011-12.

The labour bureau under the ministry of labour has also been conducting a limited employment survey in eight sectors since the global financial crisis of 2008-09. It has also launched an annual jobs survey.

The ministry had carried out pilot surveys of the labour force between July 2011 and June 2013 in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha.

In the US, employment data is published every month and are a critical input for the Federal Reserve's decision on its monetary policy.

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