Rosa Abraham
Azim Premji University
Anand Shrivastava
Azim Premji University
Working Paper
JEL Codes:
J00, J16, J21
● How Comparable are Indias Labour Market Surveys?

The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economys (CMIE) Consumer Pyramid Household surveyshave emerged as an important source of regular labour market data for India. Given thedifferences in methods in data collection between the CMIE and official employment sources, itbecomes exceedingly important to establish some comparability between the government andthe CMIE datasets. With the release of the official labour surveys, Periodic Labour ForceSurveys for 2017-18, we now have an overlap between the official datasets and CMIE datasets.In this paper, we examine the extent of comparability of labour force estimates from these twodatasets. We find that employment estimates for men are broadly comparable. However, forwomen, there is a consistent divergence with CMIE estimates of womens workforceparticipation lower than that of NSS-PLFS. We explore the points of divergence in themeasurement of womens work and hypothesise some potential reasons for this difference. Wefind that irrespective of the reference period used in the PLFS estimation of employmentstatuses, there is no convergence with the CMIE employment estimate for womensemployment. Moreover, the mismatch in CMIE-PLFS estimates occurs across all types ofwomens employment and irrespective of what reference period of employment (in official data)is used

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