Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Employment in the organised sector - How representative is it?

An article in the Times of India of 20/2/11 talked of women in government projects getting a raw deal. Reading some of the statistics there,  as also in the report of the National Sample Survey Office, came as a real surprise to me; the ballpark figure from my husband was also totally out. So before going any further, make a guestimate of the percentage of persons in India working in the unorganised sector, and of these, the percentage of women workers.
In India, a major chunk of labour force is employed in the unorganized sector. The unorganized / informal employment consists of causal and contributing family workers; self employed persons in un-organized sector and private households; and other employed in organized and unorganized enterprises that are not eligible either for paid, sick or annual leave or for any social security benefits given by the employer.
Well, assuming you have made a wild guess, let’s see what they actually are - the unorganised sector accounts for almost 90% of the total work force in India (of these approx 1/3rd are women). Quite unbelievable I felt. And of course the percentage of women here in this sector, which is considered more unproductive and poorly paid, is very high. Surprisingly however the percentage of women in the workforce in the urban areas is nearly half that in the rural areas.
An argument I frequently heard earlier while at office was that women were taking up the jobs of the men, such comments however declined with the passage of time as working women came to be more acceptable – or so I thought.  Hence even more surprising I find is that, over the period 2004-05 to 2007-08, the worker population percentage has remained the same for males but has declined significantly for females. I find this so unbelievable that I wonder if I have understood this correctly.
And going back to the figures of employment ratio in the informal sector, if less than 10% of the workable population is in the organised sector, the present lack of importance given to strikes by doctors, pilots, trade unions, bank employees etc. is really understandable.

No comments:

Post a Comment