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4th Annual PLFS : UR fell to 4.2% in 2020-21 from 4.8%

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4th Annual PLFS - Unemployment rate fell to 4.2% in 2020-21

In accordance with the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) – 4th Annual Report (July, 2020 – June, 2021), the Unemployment Rate (UR) saw a decrease of 0.6% and fell to 4.2% in 2020-21, compared with 4.8% in 2019-20.

  • The survey was released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on June 14, 2022, covering both rural and urban areas.


The National Statistical Office (NSO)(erstwhile National Sample Survey Office – NSSO) uses rotational panel sampling design in urban areas to assess the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR) and UR, and visits selected households in urban areas four times. There was no revisit for the rural samples.

Key Highlight (All India- Rural + Urban): LFPR, WPR and UR (in %) in usual status (ps+ss)* during PLFS, 2020-21 for persons of all ages

i.The UR in rural areas was 3.3% in 2021-21, a reduction from 4% in 2019-20; and in urban areas it was 6.7%, a reduction from 7% in 2019-20.

  • UR is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force

ii.The LFPR in the population was 41.6% during 2020-21 as compared to 40.1% in 2019-20. In rural areas it was 42.7% in 2020-2021, and 38.9% in urban areas.

  • The all-India female labour force participation rate (LFPR) in usual status has increased 2.3% in 2021 to 25.1% as compared to 22.8% in 2020.
  • For rural, female labour force has increased 3% to 27.7%, while urban women participation rate has seen a 0.1 rise to 18.6% as compared to 2020.
  • LFPR is the percentage of persons in the labour force (that is, working or seeking work or available for work)

iii.The WPR was 39.8%, an increase from 38.2% of 2019-20. It was 41.3% in rural areas for 2020-2021, and 36.3% in urban areas.

  • WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.

iv.The migration rate, according to the survey, is 28.9%. The migration rate among women was 48% and 47.8% in rural and urban areas, respectively.

Note: ps+ss stands for principal activity status + subsidiary economic activity status

Key Points:

i.Only 4.2% of adults who looked for jobs could not get any work in rural and urban areas of the country in 2020-21.

ii.Only 4.4% of migration happened due to employment, which is a drastic reduction from the 10% in 2011.

  • Migrants are defined in the survey as a household member whose last usual place of residence, at any time in the past, was different from the present place of enumeration.
  • The UR of males came down to 4.5 % in 2020-21 from 5.1% in 2019-20 and The UR of women declined to 3.5 % in 2020-21 from 4.2 % in 2019-20.

Click Here for Official Document

About Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS):

The first annual report (July 2017-June 2018) was released in May 2019, the second (July 2018-June 2019) in June 2020 and the third (July 2019-June 2020) was released in July 2021.

Objective of PLFS:

i.To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the ‘Current Weekly Status’ (CWS).

ii.To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both ‘Usual Status’ (ps+ss) and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.

Recent Related News:

i.India’s GDP growth for 2021-22 has been forecast at 8.3% by the multinational institution, downfrom 8.9% by the NSO’s second advance estimate. The projected growth rate for 2023-24 is 7.1%.

ii.The NSO has released two key economic statistics, that revealed

  • Retail inflation in India, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased to 6.95% in March 2022.
  • Manufacturing output of India, measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), witnessed a growth of 1.7% in February 2022.

About National Statistical Office (NSO):

NSO works under the aegis of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
In 2019, NSSO merged with the Central Statistics Office to form the NSO.
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi