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Labour Force Participation Rate rises to 49.3%: Survey

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, NOV 30, 2023: CONSIDERING the importance of availability of labour force data at more frequent time intervals, National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) launched Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017.

The objective of PLFS is primarily twofold:

- To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the ‘Current Weekly Status' (CWS).

- To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both ‘Usual Status' (ps+ss) and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.

Nineteen Quarterly Bulletins starting from the quarter October - December 2018 up to the quarter April – June 2023 have already been released. In these quarterly bulletins estimates of labour force indicators, viz., Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR), Unemployment Rate (UR), distribution of workers by broad status in employment and industry of working the Current Weekly Status (CWS) for urban areas have been presented.

The present Quarterly Bulletin is the twentieth in the series for the quarter July – September, 2023.

PLFS fieldwork during the quarter July – September 2023

The fieldwork for collection of information in respect of all the samples allotted for the period July-September, 2023, was completed timely for the first visit as well as revisit samples, except for 14 first visit and 25 revisit FSU [1] s in the State of Manipur and one first visit FSU in the State of Telangana which were treated as casualty.

Canvassing of revisit schedules is continued to be undertaken mostly in telephonic mode since June 2020. The information was collected over the telephone for about 96.2% of the revisit schedules during the period July-September, 2023.

These aspects may be kept in mind while using the estimates of PLFS for the concerned quarter.

Sample Design of PLFS

A rotational panel sampling design has been used in urban areas. In this rotational panel scheme, each selected household in urban areas is visited four times, in the beginning with ‘First Visit Schedule' and thrice periodically later with a ‘Revisit Schedule'. The scheme of rotation ensures that 75% of the first-stage sampling units (FSUs) are matched between two consecutive visits.

Sample Size

At the all-India level, in the urban areas, a total number of 5,706 FSUs (UFS blocks) have been surveyed during the quarter July – September 2023. The number of urban households surveyed was 44,738 and number of persons surveyed was 1,70,004 in urban areas.

1. Conceptual Framework of Key Employment and Unemployment Indicators for the Quarterly Bulletin : The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) gives estimates of Key employment and unemployment Indicators like the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR), Unemployment Rate (UR), etc. These indicators, and ‘Current Weekly Status' are defined as follows:

a. Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR): LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in labour force (i.e. working or seeking or available for work) in the population.

b. Worker Population Ratio (WPR): WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.

c. Unemployment Rate (UR): UR is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force.

d. Current Weekly Status (CWS): The activity status determined on the basis of a reference period of last 7 days preceding the date of survey is known as the current weekly status (CWS) of the person.

2. The Quarterly Bulletin for the quarter July – September 2023 is available at the website of the Ministry ( ). The key results are given in the statements annexed.


Key Findings of PLFS, Quarterly Bulletin (July – September 2023)

1. Increasing Trend in Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for persons of age 15 years and above

LFPR in urban areas increased from 47.9% in July – September 2022 to 49.3% in July – September 2023 for persons of age 15 years and above. While for male, LFPR increased from 73.4% to 73.8% during this period, for female, LFPR increased from 21.7% to 24.0% during this period.

Statement 1:  LFPR (in per cent) in CWS in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above all - India
survey period Male Female Person
(1) (2) (3) (4)
July – September 2022 73.4 21.7 47.9
October – December 2022 73.3 22.3 48.2
January – March 2023 73.5 22.7 48.5
April – June 2023 73.5 23.2 48.8
July – September 2023 73.8 24.0 49.3

2. Increasing Trend in Worker Population Ratio (WPR) for persons of age 15 years and above

WPR in urban areas increased from 44.5% in July – September 2022 to 46.0% in July – September 2023 for persons of age 15 years and above. For male, it increased from 68.6% to 69.4% during this period and for female, it increased from 19.7% to 21.9% during this period.

Statement 2:  WPR (in per cent) in CWS in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above all - India
survey period
(1) (2) (3) (4)
July – September 2022 68.6 19.7 44.5
October – December 2022 68.6 20.2 44.7
January – March 2023 69.1 20.6 45.2
April – June 2023 69.2 21.1 45.5
July – September 2023 69.4 21.9 46.0

3. Unemployment Rate (UR) for persons of age 15 years and above

UR in urban areas decreased from 7.2% in July – September 2022 to 6.6% in July – September 2023 for persons of age 15 years and above. For male, UR was 6.0% in July – September 2023 while for female UR decreased from 9.4% in July – September 2022 to 8.6% in July – September 2023.

Statement 3:  UR (in per cent) in CWS in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above all - India
survey period Male Female Person
(1) (2) (3) (4)
July – September 2022 6.6 9.4 7.2
October – December 2022 6.5 9.6 7.2
January – March 2023 6.0 9.2 6.8
April – June 2023 5.9 9.1 6.6
July – September 2023 6.0 8.6 6.6


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