Self-employment declining across cities, towns: survey

Aditi Nigam New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018


Fall was higher in smaller towns at 50.5% in 2011-12 compared to 54.5% in 2004-05

The share of self-employed persons in total employment declined across cities and towns over the period 2004-05 to 2011-12, according to figures released by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) recently.

The decline was higher in smaller towns (Class III - with population less than 50,000), from 54.7 per cent in 2004-05, to 50.5 per cent in 2011-12.

The primary occupation of over half the working population in smaller towns is self-employment.

According to the survey, the proportion of females opting out has been higher in smaller towns, with the share falling to 50.5 per cent in 2011-12, against 54.7 per cent in 2004-05.

The share of males in these towns declined from 44.9 per cent in 2011-12 against 48.8 per cent in 2004-05, says the 68th round of the survey, “Employment and Unemployment in Cities and Towns of India 2015”, conducted during July 2011 to June 2012.

In Class I and II cities, too, the share of self-employed fell from 47.2 per cent and 38.2 per cent in 2004-05, respectively, to 42.5 per cent and 35.7 per cent in 2011-12.

Among the self-employed in Class 1 cities, males were 37.9 per cent, compared with 35.7 per cent females, while in Class II cities, 42.7 per cent were males, against 42.5 per cent females.

The proportion of self-employed was the highest in Varanasi (82.2 per cent) and the lowest in Nagpur (23.9 per cent) among the 27 Class I cities such as Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad and Lucknow. Among female workers, too, the proportion of self-employed was the highest for Varanasi (86.4 per cent) and the lowest for Ludhiana (12.6 per cent).

The report comes at a time when the Narendra Modi government faces a slowdown in formal job creation which, along with rural distress, has been pushing more and more people into the informal sector.

The Modi government aims to give a big push to employment as well as creation of small entrepreneurs, such as vendors and grocers, by giving them loans up to ₹10 lakh through the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency, which has a corpus of ₹20,000 crore.

Published on May 26, 2015

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