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The Jobs Debate: Projecting NSS data shows jobs-growth slowing

10 14 7
12.10.2018

Firstly, I thank Surjit Bhalla for pointing out an error in my comparison ofCMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS) estimates of labour marketstatistics with those from the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO)surveys. However, even after using the data he presents, it is easy to seethat the fall in female labour participation rate seen in the CPHS data isbroadly in line with the trends seen in NSSO data.

Besides, a crucial comparison made by him to magically double the number ofwomen employed is not kosher. We discuss this later below. CPHS estimates are based on the status of respondents on the day of the survey. This ensures almost no recall problem. The unambiguous nature of a daily recall and the power of fast frequencysurveys make CPHS an exceptionally powerful survey. It makes it possible forus to conduct natural experiments as we could in the case of demonetisation. NSSO surveys do not have a comparable measure of daily status. And, their surveys are not fast-frequency.

Their measures are of principal and secondary activities based on the status over a 365 day period and a 7 day period. Their results are of annual observations.We, therefore, do not generally try and make comparisons between NSSO andCPHS. But, comparisons are sometimes necessary and also useful. Here are somecomparisons. Consider the following—CPHS has a sample size of 178,000 households incomparison to NSSO’s 120,000. CPHS is necessarily conducted using hand-heldGPS-enabled devices while NSSO surveys are done using paper with no trackingdevices. CPHS data is validated 100% in real-time by supervisorswhile the survey is being executed. NSSO validations are offline and mostlypost-hoc. CPHS results are released within a few hours of the........

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