Govt refutes reports that half of working age population has lost job hope

Majority of these students pursuing higher education are in the working-age population but, all of them may not be seeking work.

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The ministry of labour and employment (MoLE) on Tuesday said that there had indeed been a steady rise over the years in the labour force participation rate (LFPR) or the percentage of population either working (employed) or seeking for work (unemployed) in the country. 

“It is important to note that the complete working age population may not be working or seeking work. A substantial portion of working age population is either pursuing education or engaged in unpaid activities like production of goods for own consumption, unpaid domestic activities or caregiving services for household members, volunteering, training, etc. Thus, making an inference by some section of media that half of the working age population has lost hope for work is factually incorrect.”

In a statement, MoLE said as per the reports of the education ministry for 2019-20, more than 10 crore persons were enrolled in secondary, higher secondary, higher or technical education. Majority of these students pursuing higher education are in the working-age population but, all of them may not be seeking work.

Quoting the latest available annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report, MoLE said there had been a steady rise in LFPR from 49.8% in 2017-18 to 50.2% in 2018-19 and further to 53.5% in 2019-20.

“The Economic Survey 2021-22 estimates indicate there was an increase of 4.75 crore in employment during 2019-20 compared to 2018-19. The increase in labour force during 2019-20 compared to previous year was 4.52 crore. Thus, during 2019-20, more employment was generated than the increase in labour force in the country,” MoLE said.

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