ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Missing Labour Force

An Explanation

Trends in employment and unemployment in India, as presented by the quinquennial surveys of the National Sample Survey Office for the past decades, have raised many questions for which there are no easy answers. This paper attempts to address some missing links. With the help of time use statistics, it argues that the missing labour force does not imply withdrawal of women (and maybe some men) from the labour market. A large part of the missing labour is missing only from the NSSO data but is very much there in the labour force - though a small part may be due to withdrawal. It appears "missing" because of the inability of the NSSO surveys to capture it adequately. This "non-missing labour force" has important implications for the employment and labour policy in the country. The paper also argues that time use statistics has the potential of overcoming some weaknesses of the NSSO as well as of adding new information on the labour force.

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