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`Over half of India`s workforce self-employed`

More than half of the country`s overall workforce is self-employed, even as female employees receive less remuneration than their male counterparts for doing similar jobs, as per the data of a government survey released Friday.

New Delhi: More than half of the country`s overall workforce is self-employed, even as female employees receive less remuneration than their male counterparts for doing similar jobs, as per the data of a government survey released Friday.

While 51 percent of the country`s total workforce are self-employed, only around 15.6 percent are `regular wage/salaried` employees and 33.5 percent are casual labours, the key indicators from a survey the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) revealed.

Among workers in rural areas, about 54.2 are self-employed, while only 41.4 percent of the workforce in urban areas are self-employed.

While only 7.3 percent of workers in rural areas are regular wage earners, 41.4 percent of workers in cities are getting regular salaries.

The findings of the NSSO also reveal that women workers, both in rural and urban areas, continue to receive less remunerations than their male counterparts.

In urban areas, the average wage is Rs 365 per day and it is Rs 232 in rural areas.
NSSO survey found that the average earning per day received by male workers is Rs 249 but it is only Rs 156 in case of female workers, indicating the female-male wage ratio at 0.63.

Similarly, in urban areas males earn Rs 377 as against Rs 309 by woman, indicating a ratio of 0.82.

The indicators are based on a central sample of 1,00,957 households of which 59,129 were from the rural areas and 41,828 from urban areas.

This was the 66th round of the survey by NSSO.

The samples, collected between July 2009-June 2010, were drawn from 7,402 villages and 5,252 urban blocks across the country, a statement by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said.

The survey found that the per day wage rates for a casual labourer in works other than public works in rural areas is Rs 93. In urban areas, the comparative rate is Rs 122.
In rural areas, male casual labourers engaged in such activities receive an average of Rs 102 per day. However, for a female labourer the rate is only Rs 69.

On the other hand, in urban areas the wage rates for casual labourers engaged in work other than public works is Rs 132 for males and Rs 77 for females.

The difference between the wages for males and females is visible even in projects under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

In rural areas, daily wage rates for casual labourers in MGNREG public works is Rs 91 for males and Rs 87 for females.

In public works other than MGNREG, the wages are Rs 98 for males and Rs 86 for females.

The NSS key indicators say that in rural areas nearly 63 percent of the male workers are engaged in agriculture. The percentage engaged in secondary and tertiary sectors stood at 19 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

The agriculture sector is more dependent on female workers. Nearly 79 percent of the female workforce is engaged in agriculture while secondary and tertiary sectors shared 13 percent and 8 percent of female workers, respectively.

The survey also found that the industry-wise distribution of workers in the urban areas was distinctly different from that of rural areas.
In urban areas the share of the tertiary sector is more, followed by that of secondary sector while agricultural sector engaged only a small proportion of total workers for both male and females.

In urban areas, nearly 59 percent of male workers and 53 percent of the female workers are engaged in the tertiary sector.

The secondary sector employs nearly 35 percent of the male and 33 percent of female workers, while the share of urban workforce in agriculture is nearly 6 percent of male and 14 percent for female workers.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said the key indicators have been released, before the full survey is made public, for use in planning, policy formulation, decision support and as input for further statistical exercises by the government and its agencies.

The NSSO 66th covered the whole country except interior villages in Nagaland situated beyond five kilometres of a bus route, villages in Andaman and Nicobar Islands which remain inaccessible throughout the year and the Leh, Kargil and Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir.


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