India revamps quarterly employment surveys

Starting from March next year, the government will launch a more comprehensive All India Quarterly Base Establishment Survey (AIQBES).
By: | December 31, 2020

The AIQBES will combine two existing surveys – the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) and the Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES) – to plug the assessment gaps in understanding the real employment situation in the country. 

The existing surveys had a limited scope as they covered only a few formal sector establishments and were restricted to covering those that employed more than 10 persons, said a senior labour bureau official who will head the new initiative. 

Besides including informal establishments, the revamped survey will cover businesses with less than 10 employees, effectively increasing the sample size ten-fold. 

“The government thought it prudent to scale up the sample size so that a comprehensive employment survey is conducted and which reflects the correct picture of employment in the country,” said D P S Negi, chief labour commissioner. 

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The QES was stopped in 2017 when the National Statistical Office launched the first Periodic Labour Force Survey. However, the S P Mookherjee-led expert group, roped in to launch the AIQBE, is understood to have argued that a quarterly, establishment-based survey, rather than an annual, household survey will be more effective in ascertaining the employment and unemployment situation in the country, said Times of India.