NEW DELHI: The government will have a brand new set of employment numbers to flash before the next general elections in 2019, which will highlight job creation.
Under the first of its kind massive survey, which starts on the first week of April, the government wants to track employment generation in micro, small and medium enterprises that are currently out of the coverage of the social security net.
The survey will give special attention to enterprises with less than 10 employees, and it is likely to be ready in a year’s time.
The government reckons that computing data for employment generation in the unorganised sector will significantly push the overall employment generation numbers in the country and help in countering the allegations of jobless growth.
As per the seventh quarterly employment survey, 1.36 lakh jobs were created in the July-October quarter last year across eight sectors, which account for 81% of the country’s total organised workforce.
This was more than double the 64,000 jobs created in the preceding quarter and more than four times the 32,000 jobs created a year ago. However, the numbers are still well below the 10 million people that enter the country’s workforce every year.
The Economic Census 2013-14 has pegged the number of employees in the country at 13 crore, of which barely 2.4 crore are in the organised sector or in firms with more than 10 employees. Hence, there are 10.6 crore people in the unorganised workers who are mostly deprived of social security benefits as well as even minimum wages.
This would be a quarterly employment survey of small enterprises in the unorganised sector and would supplement the ongoing quarterly employment survey in the organised sector.
A high-level expert committee under retired Calcutta University professor SP Mukherjee and comprising seven members, will meet on March 26 to finalise the questionnaire as well as lay down a training module for senior labour bureau officials to undertake the exercise, a senior labour ministry official told ET on the condition of anonymity.
“It is a huge operation for us and we hope to pick up at least one lakh enterprises in the first phase,” the official said. Labour ministry has been allocated Rs 27 crore for the area frame survey.
Confirming that they would soon finalise its recommendations, a member of the expert committee said policymakers have criticised the current approach of covering enterprises with more than 10 employees only, arguing it is truncated and doesn’t capture data fully.
“There is a large chunk of the workforce working in firms with less than 10 people. A major chunk of employment is not getting covered. A rough estimate could be that around 80-85% of the workforce is not getting covered,” said the member who does not wish to be identified. “Our meeting on March 26 will discuss the methodology and approach and which all sectors to include for thearea frame survey.”
The idea of computing employment generation in the unorganised sector was first mooted by ahigh-level task force on employment under Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar.