For the first time since 1993-94, the actual size of India’s male workforce, or men who are working, has shrunk. Data from the NSSO’s Periodic Labour Force Survey 2017-18, reviewed by The Indian Express, account for 28.6 crore employed male in the country. This is the first instance of a drop in the male workforce that steadily swelled from 21.9 crore in 1993-94 to 30.4 crore in 2011-12 when the last NSSO survey was conducted. This suggests fewer men were employed in 2017-18 compared with five years ago.
Two independent members of the National Statistical Commission, PC Mohanan and JV Meenakshi, have resigned over disagreement with the government on certain issues, an official said. Mr Mohanan was also the acting chairperson.
With the two members quitting, the NSC now has only two members — Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. “The two members have resigned from the National Statistical Commission and tendered their resignation on January 28, 2019,” an official said.
Experts, who did not wish to be named, said the data requires deeper study, but clearly points to job losses, and fewer fresh employment opportunities.
The NSSO data shows an employment loss of 4.3 crore (from 30.9 crore in 2011-12 to 26.6 crore in 2017-18) in the rural and 0.4 crore (from 11.1 crore in 2011-12 to 10.7 crore in 2017-18) in the urban segment. While the employment loss in the rural segment hurt the women most (68 per cent), men suffered more (96 per cent) job losses in the urban areas. In all, since 2011-12, India’s national workforce shrunk by 4.7 crore — more than the population of Saudi Arabia.
While the NSSO publishes employment rates in percentage — and not actual workforce figures — its data sets include details of populations, sex ratio, labour force participation rates, employment-to-population ratio etc. Overall, the PLFS 2017-18 reported a 6.1 per cent unemployment rate, a sharp jump from 2.2 per cent reported in 2011-12.
The NSC, under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), is to have seven members, as per its website. Already, three posts were vacant.
The tenure of Mr Mohanan and Ms Meenakshi was to end in June 2020. They joined as members in June 2017.
Reportedly, these two members are said to have resigned over disagreement with the government on some issues, the official said.
In November last year, the NITI Aayog had come under fire for announcing the revised GDP data of the UPA years.
NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Chief Statistician Srivastava had announced the back-series data by the government