ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Rural Unemployment 1999-2005: Who Gained, Who Lost?

There is an overall rise in rural unemployment, in terms of both total and partial failure to find work during the reference week, between the 55th (1999-2000) and 61st (2004-05) round employment surveys of the National Sample Survey. This is something of a puzzle given the reported rise in monthly per capita rural expenditure between the two rounds. The decline in unemployment among males with secondary school or higher education, relative to illiterate males, suggests that the rise in rural prosperity closely matches the pattern of access to rural school facilities. Of the four disadvantaged groups tested for, scheduled tribes face the highest incremental unemployment, which remains unchanged into the 61st round. This is an important pointer to the required regional configuration of workfare programmes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, and for the spread of rural schools.

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