Policy

Casual jobs in select sectors continue to decline; biggest dip in note-ban period

Tina Edwin New Delhi | Updated on February 23, 2018

Regular jobs rise, contract jobs stay steady

Casual jobs in eight sectors of the economy continued to shrink months after the demonetisation even as number of regular jobs climbed and contract jobs stayed steady, the latest Quarterly Report on Employment Scenario from the Labour Bureau show.

Contraction has slowed but the number of people employed on casual basis is more than 28 per cent lower than it was on April 1, 2016 and about 10 per cent lower than it was on January 1, 2017.

The latest report, released about a week ago, shows employment status in the eight sectors as on July 1, 2017. The sectors covered are manufacturing, construction, trade, transportation, hospitality, information technology and business process outsourcing, education and healthcare. The first quarterly employment scenario report of status as on April 1, 2016 estimated that 10.1 lakh people were employed on casual basis in the eight sectors, with the manufacturing sector alone employing 6.23 lakh. By July 1, 2017, the number of casual employees in these eight sectors were down to 7.25 lakh.

Significantly, the number of casual employees in all eight sectors have experienced continuous decline since April 1, 2016, when the Labour Bureau began tracking the numbers, and the biggest decline was seen in the quarter that witnessed demonetisation.

Between October 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017, 1.52 lakh casual jobs were lost, with the manufacturing sector alone experiencing a contraction of 1.13 lakh casual jobs. The construction sector too experienced a sharp contraction of casual jobs – but sector is more prone to seasonality than others.

The slide in contraction of casual jobs has slowed since January 2017, about 76,000 jobs were lost between January and July 1, 2017. About 7.25 lakh people were estimated to be employed on casual basis in the eight sectors as of July 1, 2017, the day the country moved to the Goods and Services Tax regime. The impact of the shift to GST on employment is expected to be seen in the next edition of the quarterly employment scenario report.

The contraction in the number of the casual workers has also led to a decline in their share in employment in the eight sectors while that of regular employees have risen.

Casual jobs accounted for 5.1 per cent of the jobs as of April 1, 2016 and it had declined to 3.6 per cent by July 1, 2017.

The share of regular jobs in contrast rose from 81.6 per cent in April 2016 to 82.9 per cent during the same period. The Labour Bureau estimates for the latest report are based on a sample of 11,179 units across eight sectors that employed at least 10 people. The first report was based on a smaller sample – of 10,600 units.

Published on February 23, 2018

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