ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Evidence from the 2009-10 NSSO Round

Drivers of Non-Farm Employment in Rural India

This paper attempts to understand the processes of growth in rural non-farm employment based on the 2009-10 employment and unemployment round of the National Sample Survey Office. The rural non-farm sector has undergone major restructuring which has led to an increase in the share of casual labour in the non-farm sector accompanied by a continuous decline in the share of self and regular employment. On the basis of multivariate analyses at two levels, this study concludes that though non-farm employment in rural areas is primarily distress-driven, there are some significant entry barriers for rural workers in the nonfarm sector in terms of education, age and gender. Considering the overall deceleration of rural employment until 2009-10, the paper emphasises the importance of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in rural employment generation and the consequent process of feminisation of casual workforce in the non-farm sector that has emerged in the last five years. The results indicate the crisis of joblessness would have been more acute without the scheme. The overall quality of rural employment, driven by distress factors, has deteriorated in 2009-10 over 2004-05 in a significant way.



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