Periodic Labour Force Surveys

Periodic, adequate and reliable data on various aspects of labour market of the country is a critical input to the planners and policymakers both within the government and outside. To enable effective monitoring of the labour market, National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) under the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has been given the responsibility of conduct of Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). Accordingly, NSSO is responsible for the formulation of sampling design, data collection, data processing and publication of reports. This survey has been launched across India in April 2017.

Indicators to be derived

PLFS is designed to generate the indicators of labour market operations using two approaches:

(i) Usual Status (US) approach and (ii) Current Weekly Status (CWS) approach.

Annual estimates (for both rural and urban areas) would be generated for major parameters like Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR), Unemployment Rate (UR), distribution of workers by industry, occupation, workers employed in informal sector and conditions of employment of the workers. The Quarterly estimates (for urban areas only) would be generated for the key labour force parameters like LFPR, WPR and UR in CWS and the estimates of their change would also be generated.

The results of the PLFS will be brought out in the form of an Annual Key Report, which would contain detailed tables for both rural and urban sectors, and Quarterly Bulletins, which would contain, for the urban sector, estimates of the changes in key labour force parameters like LFPR, WPR and UR in the current weekly status.

Sampling design

For PLFS, a rotational panel sampling design will be used in the urban areas. In this sampling scheme 25% of the First Stage Units (FSUs) will be replaced in every quarter with a new panel of FSUs. The panel will be of two years duration to accommodate the changes in the urban frame in the intercensal period in the subsequent panel of two years duration. For rural areas, fresh samples will be selected quarterly, while the frame will remain same for each two-year period.

Structure and content of the Schedule of enquiry

Schedule 0.0PL is designed for household listing purpose. Employment-Unemployment data from each sample household will be collected using two types of schedules of enquiry, viz. Sch. 10.4 (First visit) and Sch. 10.4 (Revisit). Whereas information on both usual status and current weekly status will be collected during the first visit, only current weekly status will be collected in subsequent visits (Revisits) to the households.

Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) Method

Primary aim of the PLFS is to generate reasonably accurate indicators of labour market at a short span for every quarter for which speed of quality data collection and processing are important. These two objectives will be achieved through the Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) Method. World Bank CAPI software (Survey Solutions) has been partially adapted to the Indian requirement. Data for PLFS will be collected in the field using Tablets with the help of CAPI software. A significant part of data validation will be an in-built process of the CAPI. CAPI software also offers effective management of survey operations through its set of survey management tools. All these features of CAPI software (Survey Solutions) will help in the collection of quality data and reduce time taken in data transfer and processing thereby enabling faster release of survey results.

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