India’s GDP expanded 7.3% in FY15, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) announced recently even as many analysts remain unconvinced.
While high-frequency data, including that on industrial production and corporate results, seemed to belie CSO’s estimate, the labour bureau has revealed that for some of the most employment-intensive industries, employment levels declined in October-December 2014 from the previous three-month period.
Among the sectors that witnessed the sharpest decline in employment during the third quarter of the last fiscal were automobiles, metals and gems & jewellery. In case of leather industry and transport services, employment levels for December 2014 were less than that a year ago.
However, the employment level in December, 2014 was higher than September’s by 1.17 lakh and up 4.21 lakh from a year ago, thanks to big gains in IT/BPO and textile industries.
The Labour Bureau survey, prepared on the basis of 2,077 samples, showed that direct employment increased by 1.01 lakh in the December quarter from the previous quarter while in the contract category there was an increase of 16,000.
It also revealed that employment at export units has increased by 35,000 overall whereas at non-export units, it increased by 82,000.
“Although the scope of these surveys as well as sample size is limited, the survey is useful in indicating broad direction of changes in employment — both direct and contract — in different sectors. The utility of the survey also lies in providing such broad indications in a very short time thereby facilitating timely action by the policy makers,” the Labour Bureau said.