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

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Comparing NSSO's Employment Surveys - A Methodological Note

Correcting for an error in method, it can be shown that the National Sample Survey Organisation had underestimated employment in 2009-10 and therefore overestimated the number of jobs created between 2009-10 and 2011-12  by over 4 million, bringing the figure down from 13.9 million to around 9.35 million.

The press release on the results of the Employment and Unemployment Survey (EUS) conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in 2011-12 claimed that as many as 13.9 million jobs were created in just the two years since the previous EUS conducted in 2009-10.

This piece of statistics was picked up and played up by sections of the media (Padmanabhan and Rao 2013). But look a bit more closely at the numbers and the methodology and you will find that the NSSO may have erred – not in its survey but in how it made its estimates based on the survey. Specifically, it seems to have used out-dated projections of the total population in 2009-10 which have since been shown to be under-estimates. This has therefore placed employment in 2009-10 at a lower level than it actually was and therefore gives an exaggerated picture of the growth of employment between 2009-10 and 2011-12.

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