"The number of people depending upon agriculture and allied activities for their livelihood has come down from over 60 per cent to 49 per cent between 1999-2000 and 2011-12," the Assocham study said.
"The number of people employed in secondary and tertiary sectors have grown significantly from about 16 percent and 23.5 per cent in 1999-00 to about 24 per cent and 27 percent respectively as of 2011-12," the study titled 'Structural Shift in Rural Employment' said.
Rural employment pattern has undergone massive change and these changes are likely to continue in future as they are driven by high level of public and private investments in rural areas and also trickle down impact of investments in agriculture itself, said D S Rawat, secretary general of the industry chamber said.
The shift from dependence on farm related jobs towards acquiring other skills and engaging in self-employment, trade and services should be encouraged as it would help intensify financial inclusion in rural areas and contribute to national growth, he added.
The number of individuals employed in the agriculture sector have declined from about 261 million in 2009-10 to 231 million as of 2011-12, the Assocham study said.
While the number of those employed in manufacturing sector have increased from about 55 million in 2009-10 to about 66 million in 2011-12, the number of people engaged in mining has increased by one million.
Those employed in construction sector have almost doubled and those in services sector have also increased by about 17 million, it added.