Findings of PLFS on FLPR: Bitter-Half Of Working Story

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Source: The post is based on the article “Bitter-Half Of Working Story” published in The Times of India on 5th May 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Inclusive growth and issues arising from it..

Relevance: About the findings of PLFS on FLPR.

News: According to the recent Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report, female labour force participation rate (FLPR) (current weekly status) has increased from 16% in 2017-18 to 21% in 2021-22, while the unemployment rate has declined from 4% to 2%.

It means around 22. 5 million more women have joined the workforce or are actively seeking work, despite the impact of Covid-19 on women and young girls.

What are some key findings of the recent PLFS on FLPR?

Self-Employed & Unpaid: Women in casual labour and in regular/wage employment have declined by 6% and 4% respectively. On the other hand, the share of self-employed women drastically increased by 10% to stand at 62%.

The majority of self-employed women work as part-time or full-time helpers in their household enterprises and are without pay (60%), while a lower percentage are employers and own-account workers (40%).

Rural vs urban FLPR: Rural women’s workforce participation emerged as the key driver of women’s employment. When compared to pre-pandemic levels, this increased by almost 22% vis-à-vis the 2% for urban women.

Decrease in salary workers: There is a simultaneous decrease in salaried, wage and casual labour work.

Gender-wage inequality has also increased: For the self-employed, men have gone from earning 2. 2 times more than women in 2017-18 to 2. 6 times in 2020-21.

Read more: The financial inclusion of women is set for a tech leap

What are the key observations from the PLFS findings on FLPR?

a) Agriculture remains the most ubiquitous employment, b) Increasing feminisation in agriculture. For instance, women’s participation increased from 57% in 2017-18 to 63% in 2021-22, c) There is a high increase in informalisation of women’s work, d) The distribution of women’s labour force has changed since the pandemic, and e) These shifts in FLPR are deeply gendered, underpinned by existing and new Covid-19induced gendered expectations and norms.

Note: Evidence suggests women were hit worse by Covid-19 in terms of loss of jobs, economic distress, and an increased burden of household work, up by as much as 30%, when compared to men.

Read more: In politics and bureaucracy, women are severely under-represented

What should be done to improve quality in FLPR?

Transition must be made out of low-paying low-productivity roles into work that offers sustainable livelihood.

Structural reforms are required. Such as, a) providing greater access to opportunities in lucrative sectors such as manufacturing, and job roles, and b) supporting women to move up in the agricultural value chain, such as providing market access.

Greater access to gender-responsive opportunities so that women can balance domestic roles with paid work. These include facilitating flexible work, part-time roles, and hyper-local opportunities.

Empower women with skill-sets such as quality and demand-driven technical, vocational skills and soft skills and resources such as safe and affordable transport, mentorship etc so that they can take on more remunerative jobs.

Read more: Nari shakti’ offers G20 nations a women’s empowerment model
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