Employment generation in nine non-farm sectors slowed down in the March quarter of FY22, possibly under the impact of Omicron variant of Covid-19, with additional job creation dipping to 350,000 during the quarter, from 390,000 in the preceding December quarter of the financial year.
According to the fourth round of the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) released by the Labour Ministry on Tuesday, the total number of jobs in the nine sectors, namely, manufacturing, construction, trade, transport, education, health, accommodation & restaurants, Information technology (IT)/business process outsourcing (BPO) and financial services rose to 31.8 million in the March quarter from 31.45 million in the December quarter.
The QES that started on April 1, 2021 does not capture employment data from units which emerged after the 6th EC period (2013-14).
During the March quarter, the manufacturing sector was the worst hit with 140,000 job cuts followed by education (22,204) and construction (8,954) sectors. However, IT/BPO sector created the highest number of new jobs at 370,000, followed by the health sector (93,701).
Of the total employment estimated in the selected nine sectors, manufacturing accounted for 38.5 per cent, followed by education (21.7 per cent), IT/BPOs (12 per cent) and health sector (10.6 per cent). Trade and transport sectors engaged 5.3 per cent and 4.2 per cent of the total estimated workers respectively.
The nine sectors reported 150,000 vacancies during the March quarter with establishments claiming that vacancies are being filled up in 80.1 per cent cases while for 15 per cent positions, establishments saw no need to fill up the posts. In 3.95 per cent cases, establishments said workers with requisite skills are not available as the reason. The rest of the vacancies remained due to ‘other reasons.’
The overall percentage of female workers was 31.8 per cent in the March quarter, marginally higher than 31.6 per cent reported during the third round of QES for the December quarter. According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for the March quarter of FY22, female labour force participation rate stood at 20.4 per cent.
Explaining the difference in the share of female workers in PLFS and QES, S P Mukherjee, Chairman, Expert Group on All India Surveys said that the lower share of females in PLFS is on account of it being a supply side survey. “It shows that they are getting enrolled for higher education and skilling, whereas their higher share in QES shows high demand for female workers in the market,” he added.
While the PLFS by the Ministry of Statistics provides the employment scenarios for the supply-side of the labour market through household surveys, the Quarterly Employment Survey by the labour ministry provides the demand side picture of the labour market through establishment survey.
Regular workers constituted 86.4 per cent of the estimated workforce in the nine selected sectors, with only 2.3 per cent being casual workers. However, in the construction sector, 19 per cent of the workers were contractual and 5.7 per cent were casual workers.
Nearly 92 per cent of the total 531,000 establishments surveyed have been estimated to work with less than 100 workers, though 30.9 per cent of the IT/BPO establishments worked with at least 100 workers including about 13 per cent engaging 500 or more workers. In the health sector, 18.6 per cent of the establishments had 100 or more workers. In the transport sector, 14 per cent of the total estimated establishments were operating with 100 or more workers.
While 61.3 per cent of establishments surveyed were registered under the Goods and Service Tax Act, only 23.8 per cent were registered under the Companies Act and 26.9 per cent establishments are functioning under Shops & Commercial Establishments Act.