Employment in India: Government survey: Formal sector employment rises 0.4 million in Q3 FY22

India’s formal sector employment increased by 0.4 million in the October-December quarter of 2021 with the total number of workers employed across nine sectors was 31.4 million compared to 31 million in the July-September quarter and 30.8 million in the April-June quarter 2021. This was announced by the Ministry of Labor on Thursday.

According to the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) for the third quarter of the most recent fiscal year, manufacturing employed 12.3 million, followed by 0.69 million in education, 0.34 million in IT/BPOs and 0.32 million in healthcare.

These nine sectors accounted for about 85% of total employment in units of 10 or more employees at the 6th Economic Census. During the third quarter, out of 12,038 allocated samples, 11,612 units or 5.31 lakh establishments were surveyed.

Comparative data for the previous financial year (2020-21) is not available as the QES was suspended for several years and was implemented in its current revised form from April to June 2021.

This survey covers establishments with 10 or more employees in nine sectors including manufacturing, construction, retail, transport, education, health, hospitality, IT/BPO and financial services.

The latest comparable date used as a basis by the ministry includes the 2013-14 economic census, which put India’s workforce in these sectors at 23.7 million.

According to QES, 39.4% of the estimated total employment in the selected nine sectors was in manufacturing, followed by 22% in education, 11% in IT/BPOs and 10.4% in healthcare. Employment in commerce accounted for 5.3% while in transport sectors it was 4.2%.

In addition, the overall percentage of female workers was higher in the second quarter at 32.1%, compared to 29.3% reported during the first round of QES. Overall, around 23.55% of the units offered their employees on-the-job training during this period.

85.3% of the estimated workforce in the nine selected sectors are regular workers, while 8.9% were agency workers. This is a shift towards more contract workers as the proportion of regular workers was 87% in the second quarter while the proportion of casual workers was 2%.

According to the report, about 1.85 lakhs of vacancies were reported in the nine sectors during this period.

The Labor Office, which reports to the Ministry of Labor and Employment, last conducted the seventh QES for the July-September 2017 quarter. The work of the eighth QES for October-December 2017 was subsequently suspended due to significant discrepancies in the data on employment generation under this survey and the payroll data.

According to the ministry, the quarter-to-quarter survey results will provide a relative change in the employment situation in consecutive quarters in the aforementioned segment of the Indian economy.

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