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

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Change in the Employment– Unemployment Situation

Analysis Based on Panel Data

By taking into consideration five different panels with each one of them surveyed during four consecutive quarters covering the period most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of employment scenario, this article examines the change in the employment–unemployment situation of the same persons during the four consecutive quarters. The study is confined to urban India and uses the unit-level data collected through the Periodic Labour Force Survey.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant socio-economic disruptions affecting the livelihood of a large section of people across the globe. In India, lockdown restrictions were announced on 23 March 2020 in Kerala and subsequently on 25 March 2020 in the rest of the country. As per the available information, the daily number of cases peaked mid-September 2020 in the first wave. However, in the second wave beginning in March 2021, the peaked number of daily cases observed during early May 2021 was much larger. Thereafter, another peak in the number of daily cases was observed in mid-January 2022. There have been quite a few articles focusing on the employmentunemployment conditions of Indians during the pandemic period. However, the most comprehensive database in this regard giving statewise information separately for rural and urban India is available in the form of annual reports of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. These apart, quarterly bulletins of the NSO covering a few important employmentunemployment indicators for the urban areas are also available in the public domain.

A unique feature of the urban component of the PLFS is its use of rotational sampling design adopted in the survey. And as per this design, every quarter of the survey has four panels of first-stage unitsurban frame survey blocks where one panel has been introduced for the first time in the quarter for survey as a first-visit sample and the other three panels which got introduced during the preceding quarters are surveyed during the current quarter as the revisit samples. Each panel has nearly the same number of sample blocks and three panels are common between any two consecutive quarters. Any given panel and the corresponding sample block as well as sample households in each of these blocks are surveyed during the four consecutive quarters and then the panel disappears from the survey. After due stratification of households, a random sample of eight households per sample block is selected for survey in the PLFS.1

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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