• Recently, the National Statistical Office (NSO) released the third annual report on Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), conducted between July 2019 and June 2020.
  • Labour indicators recorded an all-round improvement in 2019-20 compared with the previous two years i:e 2017-18 and 2018-19.

National Statistical Office

  • It is the central statistical agency of the Government mandated under the Statistical Services Act 1980 under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • It is responsible for the development of arrangements for providing statistical information services to meet the needs of the Government and other users for information on which to base policy, planning, monitoring and management decisions.
  • The services include collecting, compiling and disseminating official statistical information.

Important points:

  • The unemployment rate fell to 4.8% in 2019-20. In 2018-19, it stood at 5.8% and 6.1% in 2017-18.
  • It improved to 38.2% in 2019-20 compared with 35.3% in 2018-19 and 34.7% in 2017-18.
  • It increased to 40.1% in 2019-20 from 37.5% and 36.9%, respectively, in the last two years. The higher the LFPR, the better.
  • The data showed the jobless rate for both male and female fell to 5.1% and 4.2%, respectively, in 2019-20 from 6% and 5.2% in 2018-19.
  • WPR and LFPR also comparatively improved during the year.

Periodic Labour Force Survey:

  • It is India’s first computer-based survey launched by the NSO in 2017.
  • It has been constituted based on the recommendation of a committee headed by Amitabh Kundu.
  • It essentially maps the state of employment in the country. In doing so, it collects data on several variables such as the level of unemployment, the types of employment and their respective shares, the wages earned from different types of jobs, the number of hours worked etc.
  • Before PLFS, the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)- previous name of NSO used to bring the data related to employment and unemployment based on its quinquennial (every 5 year) household socio-economic survey programme.


  • To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. WPR, LFPR, UR) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the Current Weekly Status (CWS).
  • To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both usual status and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.


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