‘The 4% growth in employment is realistic and heartening’

Non-government employment as well as the number of independent enterprises have seen a sharp jump in the Sixth Economic Census.

Written by Surabhi | Published: July 31, 2014 1:38 am

Non-government employment as well as the number of independent enterprises have seen a sharp jump in the Sixth Economic Census, said Pronab Sen, chairman, National Statistical Commission. In an interview with Surabhi, he said that the final results of the exercise would be available by next year. Excerpts:

What are your views on the employment growth data?

The growth in employment is a little under 4 per cent per annum, which is a fairly accurate reflection of what is happening. It also because the Economic Census measures whether a person is employed but not the intensity of employment, which is only captured in the NSSO survey. But on the whole, the 4 per cent figure is heartening as even if people are not fully employed, they may be having multiple opportunities of employment.

Share of women in the workforce remains subdued…

The comparison must be with the last Census where women made up about 20 per cent of the workforce. So if you consider the 34 per cent rise in employment, women’s employment growth is closer to 40 per cent, which is higher than that for men at about 31 per cent.

The Sixth Economic Census has excluded government establishments. How has this impacted the results?

The current Census understates the growth in employment — the growth in non-government employment is much sharper. Government establishments were included in the Fifth Census but when the results were compared with the government records, it reported lesser employment that the official data which is very accurate. Employment would in fact, be lower in the Fifth Census if we excluded government establishments, thereby resulting in an even higher growth in employment in the Sixth Census.

The data on establishments also reveal a rise of over 40 per cent. Your comments?

This is very surprising and much higher than what we had estimated based on previous trends. Now, we will have to look at more detailed data. But it is important to note that the average employment per establishment has declined and the number of small units has increased. So what could well be the case is that previously employed people have now set up independent enterprises.

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