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Unemployment Rate in India βeta A collaborative effort of BSE & CMIE
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We estimate the size of the labour force in India and the unemployment rate in India by directly interviewing a large sample of randomly selected households, to find the employment / unemployment status of all members of over 15 years of age. The 30-day moving average is derived from a sample of over 82,000 individuals from about 25,500 households. The sample households are from the panel of households included in CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids survey.

CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids panel of households contains over 161,183 households and these include over 580,000 members who are over 15 years old. This is the largest sample of individuals from whom data is gathered on the employment and unemployment status.

Face-to-face interviews are conducted with each household. Responses are sought to classify each eligible member of the surveyed households into one of the following statuses with respect to employment / unemployment as of the date of the survey.

  1. Is currently employed.
  2. Is not employed but is willing to work and is actively looking for a job.
  3. Is not employed, is willing to work but is not actively looking for a job.
  4. Is not employed, is not willing to work and is not looking for a job.

The unemployment rate is computed as the number of persons not employed but willing to work and actively looking for a job as a per cent of the total labour force, where the total labour force is the sum of all those who are employed and those who are not employed but are willing and looking for a job.

The employment / unemployment status of an individual is recorded as of the date of the survey. This permits us to measure the status a lot more accurately since there is no ambiguity about the status on the day of the interview.

If there is ambiguity of the status of an individual on the day of the survey (as it could be for a daily wage worker) we seek the status as of the day preceding the day of the interview. This recall of a status that is in very close proximity to the date of the survey ensures accurate observations of the status.

Interviews are well spread out over the entire country and over rural and urban regions. Data are collected over specially developed mobile phone applications and validated in real-time. Appropriate weights are assigned to observations to ensure accurate population estimations. Estimations of the 30-day moving average are based on a survey design of a stratified sample over rural and urban areas. Monthly estimations are based on a more refined survey design of state-level stratification of rural and urban areas.