Irregular employment plagues workforce, says NSSO study

New Delhi, Nov 22 | Updated: Nov 23 2005, 05:40am hrs
Lack of work in rural areas is the principal reason for break in employment for people who had worked for some time in the past in the rural sector. For the urban unemployed who had ever worked in the past, quitting the earlier job was found to be the single most important reason for unemployment.

According to a report on the employment and unemployment situation in India, by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), 72% of unemployed females in the rural areas who were ever employed and 54% of their male counterparts became unemployed due to lack of work in the area in January-June 2004. The report defined ever-employed as those who were unemployed on all the days of the reference week, but had regular work in the past.

In the urban areas, however, the data presented a different picture. A comparably smaller proportion of the unemployed (20% males and 21% females), who were earlier employed, cited lack of work in the area as the reason for their being unemployed, said the report.

A major proportion of the urban unemployed was unable to find a job because those people had quit their erstwhile jobs. The percentage of urban women who were without work due the mentioned reason stands at 25%. It is much higher than that of their male counterparts (11%). Layoff, closure of the unit or loss of earlier jobs were reported as the reason for unemployment by about 29% of the the urban male unemployed and 17% of the urban female unemployed.

A considerable proportion of the unemployed cited lack of work in the enterprise as a reason for their being out of work. The proportion of men without work due to lack of work in enterprise was much higher than women in both rural and urban areas. For the urban males, this proportion was 16%, which was marginally higher than their rural counterparts(14%). In the case of women, only 4% of the urban unemployed and 5% of the rural unemployed were reportedly out of work due to no jobs in the enterprise.