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Soon PLFS data may be released every month

June 25, 2024
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MOSPI looking at ways to increase frequency of statistics on employment and unemployment. In what could bridge the gap on high frequency data on jobs in the economy, the Government is looking at increasing the frequency of the Periodic Labour Force Survey. According to sources, the PLFS may move from a quarterly to a monthly survey.

The Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation is understood to be looking at how the data collection for this exercise can be made for effective and faster through the use of technology. The objective is to make PLFS into a monthly exercise as at present the data comes with a lag. If the move goes through, the monthly PLFS would have data on urban unemployment while a quarterly PLFS would be released with data on rural unemployment and the annual PLFS report would continue.
At present, the PLFS quarterly report has data only on urban unemployment while the annual PLFS report provides an all-India picture on unemployment in both the urban and rural sectors. Sources said the move is in line with one of the major objectives of the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation to cut down the time lag in the release of statistics and improve the frequency of data availability.

The lack of monthly official statistics on employment and unemployment in the economy is seen as a major lacuna with policymakers and researchers often having to use either back dated data or data from private agencies. To fill this gap, the PLFS was launched by the NSSO in April 2017. It estimates the key employment and unemployment indicators such as Worker Population Ratio, Labor Force Participation Rate and Unemployment Rate in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the ‘Current Weekly Status’ (CWS). It also estimates employment and unemployment indicators in both ‘Usual Status’ and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.

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