Key Insights at the all-India level
Performance on labor force participation and employment show a downward trend. As of 2018, only 1 in 2 Indians of working age (15 years and above) participate in the labor force. In addition, fewer than 1 in 4 women of working age--23.3 percent--enter the labor force. Unemployment rose to 6.1 percent, and remains higher among the educated. For example, in 2018 unemployment rose to as high as 17.4 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree.
Performance on formality and benefits show some improvement. Informal employment (as a share the non-farm workforce) declined to 68.4 percent in 2018, from 72.4 percent in 2012. In addition, the share of regular wage or salaried employees (outside agriculture) also rose to 50.4 percent for 2017-18, from 45.5 percent in 2009-10.
Only one in two Indians of working age, 15 years and above, participate in the labor
- Only one in two Indians of working age, 15 years and above, participate in the labor
force. Fewer than one in four women 15 years and above -- 23.3 percent -- enter the
labor market. Female labor force participation has declined consistently since 2004
when it was 42.7 percent.
- Unemployment is a loss of productive potential. Recent data suggests that
unemployment rose to 6.1 percent in 2018.
- The unemployment rate of persons with graduate degree has increased from 8.4
percent in 2012 to 17.2 percent in 2018 and with certificate/diploma course has
increased from 9.8 percent in 2012 to 19.8 percent in 2018.
Type of Employment
- Total share of persons usually employed as self-employed has increased from 46.6
percent in 2015-16 to 52.2 percent in 2017-18.
- Total share of persons usually employed as regular wage/salaried employees has
increased from 17 percent in 2015-16 to 22.8 percent in 2017-18.
- Total share of persons usually employed as casual workers has decreased from 32.8
percent in 2015-16 to 24.9 percent in 2017-18.
- According to PLFS 2017-18 report, one in two Indians are employed as regular
wage/salaried earner in tertiary sector but also one in two Indians are employed as
casual workers in manufacturing. Around three-fourth of workers in agricultural sector
are employed as self-employed.
- The overall proportion of informal workers engaged in non-agriculture and AGEGC
sector has declined from 72.4 percent in 2012 to 68.4 percent in 2018.
- The share of informal sector among male workers during 2017-18 was 71.1 per cent and
among female workers was nearly 54.8 per cent in non-agriculture and AGEGC sectors.
- The share of regular wage/salaried employees eligible for any social security benefit in
non-agriculture sector has increased from 45.5 percent in 2009-10 to 50.4 percent in
- Over the period, 2010-17 the expenditure on pension has remained stagnant at 1.5
percent of GDP at all India-level.