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Professional bodies and gig economy players to file data on jobs; Govt to notify framework for collating data

Experts have long raised concerns over the lack of quality jobs data in the country.

Updated: Aug 13, 2019, 11.29 AM IST
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Household and enterprise surveys have been so far used to estimate employment.
NEW DELHI: Professional bodies including those representing lawyers, chartered accountants and architects, among others, as well as gig economy companies such as Ola and Uber will have to soon start filing data on jobs created.

The government is set to notify a framework for collating this information, a senior government official told ET, adding that this had been decided at a highlevel meeting recently.

“A notification in this regard is expected soon,” he said.

The government has identified 23 organisations that will be directed to share the number of professionals registered. This will eventually include service providers such as Ola and Uber that recruit drivers.


Experts have long raised concerns over the lack of quality jobs data in the country.

“There is consensus within the government that job numbers from professional bodies also need to be included in India’s overall job data,” the official said.

Household and enterprise surveys have been so far used to estimate employment.

The data will be collated by the labour bureau under the ministry of labour and employment or the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, the official said.

The government think tank Niti Aayog had earlier attempted to tap this information through its data analytics cell, but this didn’t turn out as expected because of apparent reluctance on the part of the organisations to participate.

The government also uses Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) enrolment numbers as a monthly indicator of buoyancy in formal job creation in the economy. However, that has been questioned in some quarters.

The EPFO enrolment numbers along with Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme, National Pension System (NPS) and General Provident Fund (GPF) data were used by Soumya Kanti Ghosh and Pulak Ghosh last year for their study, Towards a Payroll Reporting in India, which estimated that around 7 million jobs might have been created in FY18.

“Using alternative sources for employment numbers is a great idea, since this — complementing surveys — will make estimates more robust,” said Saugata Bhattacharya, chief economist at Axis Bank.

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Pilot survey to check authenticity
“Also, formal sector jobs tend to multiply ancillary informal sector jobs, so they will be proxies for overall employment as well.”

Crisil chief economist DK Joshi said, “As the large part of the economy is informal, this should be supplemented by informal sector employment data that can be captured through well designed surveys.”

After the framework is notified, the government will reach out to bar councils on the number of lawyers, medical associations for doctors, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, All India Council for Technical Education for engineers and other similar bodies to ensure a steady flow of information. A pilot survey will be conducted to check authenticity.

The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released in May showed the unemployment rate at 6.1% in FY18, but the government said this was not comparable with earlier years because of the change in methodology.

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