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Labour Force participation Rate higher in Rural Areas than Urban Areas, significantly lower for females than males: Economic Survey

Women account for 57% of employment given under MGNREGA in the Current Financial Year

1.75 lakh Rural Youth trained under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana during 2015-16

 The Economic Survey (2015-16) states that the proportion of economically active population (15-59 years) has increased from 57.7 per cent to 63.3 per cent during 1991 to 2013, as per Sample Registration System (SRS) data for 2013.

As per the Economic Survey, the employment growth in the organized sector (Public and Private combined) increased by 2% in 2012 over 2011, while it increased by only 1% in 2011 over 2010. The annual growth rate of employment for the private sector was 4.5 % in 2012 over 2011 whereas the public sector registered a marginal growth of 0.4 % in the same year.

The Fourth Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey conducted by the Labour Bureau during the period January 2014 to July 2014 has shown that the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is 52.5 % for all persons. However, the LFPR for rural areas stands at 54.7% which is much greater than that for rural areas i.e. 47.2 %. The LFPR for women is significantly lower than that for males in both rural and urban areas. As per the Survey, the Unemployment Rate is 4.7 % in rural areas and 5.5% in urban areas. The total unemployment rate reported is 4.9% as per the Labour Bureau Survey. These figures are much higher than the all India unemployment rates of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO, 2012-11) which reported unemployment rate of 2.3% for rural areas, 3.8% for Urban Areas and 2.7% for India as a whole.

The Government has taken several measures including Labour reforms to improve the employment situation in the country as well as employment conditions for women. Some of the recent Labour reforms include the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act 2015, National Career Services Portal, Shram Suvidha Portal and Universal Account Number Facility.

The National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 aims to ensure ‘Skilling on a large Scale at a Speed with high Standards and promote a culture of innovation based entrepreneurship to ensure sustainable livelihoods’. The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) proposes to cover 24 lakh Indian youth with meaningful, industry relevant, Skill Based Training under which 5.32 lakh persons have already been enrolled. Of this number, 4.38 lakh have successfully completed training throughout India.

In addition, the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY), a placement-linked skill development scheme for rural youth who are poor, as a skilling component of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) has also been launched. During 2015-16, against a target of skilling 1.78 lakhs candidates under the DDU-GKY, a total of 1.75 lakh have already been trained and 0.60 lakh placed till November 2015.

With a view to increasing the scope of employability among differently-abled persons, the Government has launched a National Action Plan (NAP) for skill training. The plan has target of skilling 5 lakh differently-abled persons in next three years. Plans are also on the anvil to extend the NAP with an online skill-training platform with a target of 5 lakh every year.

Under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, about 3.63 crore households have been provided employment of 134.96 crore person days during the Current Financial Year (as on 01.01.2016). Of this, 76.81 crore person days or 57% were availed of by women.

The Survey has expressed concern at the reported low rates of workforce participation for females. The level of financial inclusion of women in terms of number of women with bank accounts still remains low in India. However, it is noteworthy that there are women achievers in the financial sector, with leading nationalized banks and financial institutions headed by women, says the Economic Survey.

The Time Use Survey (TUS) being conducted in select states on a pilot basis has revealed the hidden contribution of women to the economy in the form of unpaid work. PUS is proposed to be extended to all states to design gender sensitive policies for employment and to make women’s work visible, says the Survey.