Book of jobs: On Periodic Labour Force Survey

Better ways to track employment data are necessary for meaningful policy responses

The government has begun field work to compile a new Periodic Labour Force Survey to track employment trends more swiftly, in order to generate quarterly reports on the urban labour market situation and annual dossiers on the overall employment scene. With well over 80% of the workforce employed informally (with no contractual rights), Statistics and Programme Implementation Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda’s assertion that the Survey will also attempt to capture such workers’ employment status is welcome. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now expected to meet officials, including Niti Aayog Vice-Chairperson Arvind Panagariya, to discuss issues related to job creation and the recommendations of a task force set up to officially capture the employment status of India’s workforce more effectively. The task force had been constituted amid a growing sense of concern, even within industry, about the lack of adequate jobs created and fresh talk of ‘jobless growth’. The only official job data available, based on surveys conducted by the Labour Bureau since late 2008, have painted a gloomy picture on new jobs for the world’s youngest workforce in the first two years of the Narendra Modi government.

India’s employment data are far from robust and not timely enough to enable meaningful policy responses for emerging job market realities. Government officials too have questioned the reliability of the Labour Bureau exercise that covers only a few sectors in select States. Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy, for instance, has said that existing jobs data can be used to claim both ‘growth-less jobs’ and jobless growth, given India’s largely informal economy. The task force is considering the use of proxy measures such as car sales to incorporate informal employment generation into the official narrative. How the recommendations of the task force will be incorporated into the new labour force survey, for which work began in April, needs to be seen. While it is never too late to spruce up statistical systems, the timing of this exercise is odd. Chief Statistician T.C.A. Anant expects the results of the first Survey, awaiting approval for more than a year, to be released by December 2018. The most comprehensive existing employment survey conducted quinquennially by the National Sample Survey Office has not been done since 2011-12. The UPA government had commissioned an out-of-turn survey then as the 2009-10 survey presented an overtly gloomy job market in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. In contrast, the NDA government will go to the next Lok Sabha polls having released just one comprehensive labour force survey, close to the end of its term. Importantly, given the new coordinates, the Survey may not be strictly comparable with past data. Source - THE HINDU


1) Compile (संकलन) - Com-pile
Meaning - produce (a list or book) by assembling information collected from other sources - Verb
convert (a program) into a machine-code or lower-level form in which the program can be executed - Verb
Synonyms - amass, arrange
Antonyms - destroy, disorder
Example - The book took 10 years to compile.

2) Swiftly (तेजी से) - Swe-ift-ly
Meaning - without delay, after a very short time - Adverb
Synonyms - promptly, instantly
Antonyms - slowly, sluggishly
Example - The police must be able to react swiftly in an emergency.

3) Dossiers (फाइल) - Doss-ear
Meaning - a collection of documents about a particular person, event, or subject - Noun
Synonyms - file, report
Example - The committee thoroughly checked the dossiers of all the applicants.

4) Amid (के बीच) - Am-id
Meaning - surrounded by, in the middle of - Preposition
Synonyms - amidst, among
Antonyms - outside, beyond
Example - Amid a crowd of cheering fans, Larry stood out as the one person who was clearly uninterested in the game.

5) Robust (मजबूत) - Ro-bust
Meaning - strong and healthy, vigorous - Adjective
Synonyms - strong, vigorous
Antonyms - fragile, incapable
Example - It was a typically robust performance by the Foreign Secretary.

6) Reliability (विश्वसनीयता) - Re-lie-bal-ity
Meaning - the quality of being trustworthy or of performing consistently well - Noun
Synonyms - accuracy, honesty
Antonyms - danger, disloyalty
Example - Our goods compete in terms of product quality, reliability and above all variety.

7) Spruce (सजाना) - Spru-c
Meaning - a widespread coniferous tree which has a distinctive conical shape and hanging cones, widely grown for timber, pulp, and Christmas trees - Noun
Synonyms - clean, smart
Antonyms - dirty, rough
Example - A new coat of paint should spruce up the old church.

8) Gloomy (उदास) - Glue-me
Meaning - dark or poorly lit, especially so as to appear depressing or frightening - Adjective
Synonyms - bleak, cloudy
Antonyms - bright, cheerful
Example - The gloomy weather shows no sign of improving.

9) Incompetent (अक्षम) - In-com-pee-tent
Meaning - not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully - Adjective
an incompetent person - Noun
Synonyms - inadequate, incapable
Antonyms - able, capable
Example (English) - Salman Khan said that he felt 'incompetent as an actor' in front of Sunil Grover.
Example (Hindi) - सलमान खान ने कहा कि उन्होंने सुनील ग्रोवर के सामने 'एक अभिनेता के रूप में अक्षम' महसूस किया।

Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension question, try to answer the following -
  • How should you inform employees of the tracking system?
  • What is more important - the number of hours worked or the number of tasks completed?
Given below are some words to check your vocabulary you can make sentences with those words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Constituted
  • Comprehensive
  • Proxy
  • Concern

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