NCAER Dialogue Room Seminar Series ‘Employment and Unemployment Statistics: Issues and Challenges’

Past Event

NCAER organised an in-person lecture on ‘Employment and Unemployment Statistics: Issues and Challenges’ by Dr Gurucharan Manna, Senior Adviser, at NCAER, on 6 September 2023, as part of its Dialogue Room Seminar Series. Details of the paper Abstract and the panellists at the seminar are given below.


In a rapidly growing economy like India, the need for accurate measurement of employment-unemployment rates cannot be over-emphasised. There have also been apprehensions regarding possible under-estimation of the female Worker Population Ratio (WPR) through the National Sample Survey (NSS). The validity of the female WPR has been investigated by comparing the NSS 68th Round (2011-12) State-level estimates of the female WPR with those obtained from three alternative sources, namely, the Census 2011, IHDS, 2011-12, and Employment-Unemployment Surveys (EUS) conducted by the Labour Bureau as part of its second and third rounds. The NSS quinquennial series of the EUS has since been replaced with the high-frequency Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) from the year 2017-18, which has the provision to release estimates of key labour force parameters, including the Labour Force Participation Rate, i.e., the LFPR, WPR, and the unemployment rate, i.e., the UR, on an annual basis for both rural and urban areas, and on a quarterly basis for urban areas. The level of precision of the State-level estimates of these annual/quarterly estimates has been examined along with the implications on the incremental sample size that may be necessary to produce these estimates within acceptable margins of error. Finally, it has been studied whether the observed quarterly estimates of the urban WPR and UR between two quarters, as per the PLFS, differ significantly or not and what the sample size should be if the urban quarterly component of the PLFS is designed to detect the specified magnitude of change in WPR and UR in the population.



Gurucharan Manna is a Senior Adviser at NCAER. He was the Director General of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in the Government of India. Dr Manna has nearly 40 years of specialized experience in sample design, estimation procedures for household and establishment surveys, and the design of survey questionnaires and related documents for fieldwork and data validation.  Over the years, his responsibilities at NSSO/CSO have included the compilation of GDP estimates; conduct of the 6th Economic Census; technical coordination and supervision of the Annual Survey of Industries, Energy Statistics, and Infrastructure Statistics; compilation of the Index of Industrial Production and the Index of Service Production; finalization of survey methodologies and reports for NSSO socio-economic surveys; and compilation of foreign trade statistics. He is currently the Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of Sarvekshana – a half-yearly journal being brought out by NSSO, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. He is also a member of the Reconstituted Expert Group on Minimum Wages and National Floor Wages constituted by the Ministry of Labour and Employment and of the Labour Bureau’s Expert Group for All-India Surveys.


Ravi Srivastava is currently Director, Centre for Employment Studies, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi. He was earlier Professor of Economics and Chairperson, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and full-time Member (2006-09) of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS), in the rank of Secretary, Government of India. His main areas of research and publication include labour and employment, migration, social protection, agriculture, rural development and rural poverty, the informal sector, regional development, decentralisation, human development, and land reforms. He is a recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the Commonwealth and the Fulbright Fellowship; the University Grants Commission’s award in Economics (2001) for innovative research on poverty; and the V.V. Giri Memorial Award (2009) for research on labour migration. He has performed consultancy and advisory roles for the Planning Commission, Ministries of the Government of India, State governments, and international agencies such as the World Bank, ILO, ADB, UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFPA, IFAD, and FAO, among others. He is past President of the Indian Society of Labour Economics and current President of the UP and Uttarakhand Economics Association.


Arup Mitra is a Professor at the South Asian University (SAU), Delhi. Before joining SAU, he was Professor of Economics at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. He has also served as the Director General of the National Institute of Labour Economics Research and Development, Government of India. His research interests include development economics, urban issues, labour and welfare, corruption, industrial growth and productivity, the services sector, and gender inequality. He has been a consultant to a number of international organisations and was a senior researcher at ILO, Geneva. He has also been a visiting scholar at the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan, and Visiting Professor at Nagoya University, Japan. He was awarded the Mahalanobis Memorial Gold Medal by the Indian Econometric Society for his outstanding contribution to quantitative economics. He has a PhD from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, and a post-doctorate degree from Northwestern University (USA).


Pallavi Choudhuri is a Senior Fellow at the NCAER-National Data Innovation Centre (NDIC). Her primary research interests include development, employment, inequality, and gender. At NDIC, her recent work has focused on leading experiments related to measurement gaps in income and consumption data, and women’s time use data. Prior to joining NCAER, she taught courses in Economics at the Grand Valley State University as a Visiting Assistant Professor. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of Wyoming.



Suresh Chand Aggarwal is Visiting Professor at Institute for Human Development, New Delhi. Prior to this, he was Head of the Department of Business Economics, University of Delhi, till his retirement in 2017. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Department of Business Economics, Indian Council of Social Science Research. He has been an external Consultant to the Reserve Bank of India, Indian Council of Research on International Economic Relations, World Bank, and International Labour Organization. He has guided a number of PhD and MPhil students, and has published four books and more than 50 research papers, mostly on subjects related to labour, industry, and inclusive growth. He has also helped in the development of e-content for post-graduate courses in Business Economics under the E-PG pathshala by the University Grants Commission.

  • Event Date

    06 September 2023
  • Location

    NCAER, Seminar Hall T1-102
  • Event Type

  • Event Mode