NSSO report on unemployment at draft stage, not comparable: NITI Aayog V-C

NITI Aayog V-C Rajiv Kumar (left) with CEO Amitabh Kant in New Delhi Photo: PTI
NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Friday that the National Sample Survey’s period labour force survey of 2017-18 was a “draft report” and the figures cannot be compared from the past surveys conducted by the government’s statistical agency. 

“The verification of the data is important. It is being processed. We need to verify the numbers. The confusion created in the media is based on a draft report, which is not finalised. We cannot say that the government is not releasing the data,” Kumar said. 

Kumar’s comments come a day after Business Standard reported that the country's unemployment rate stood at over a four-decade high of 6.1 per cent during 2017-18, compared to 2.2 per cent in 2011-12.

Kumar also said since the methodology adopted in the NSSO’s 2017-18 is different from that used in the previous surveys, the numbers cannot be compared. 

At the press conference, Kumar said, “It is not right to compare the two datasets.” 
He added that there was a lot of evidence to show that jobs have been created in the last four years and even quoted a survey by McKinsey to establish the claim. 

Refusing to comment on the content of Business Standard’s news report, Kumar said the government will release its employment report by March after collating quarter-on-quarter data. 
He also debunked claims of jobless growth, saying how can a country grow at an average of 7 per cent without employment. 

The NITI Aayog V-C further said the government wanted to release the data for six quarters first before releasing the annual household employment survey so that the figures can be compared. 
The survey report was approved by the National Statistical Commission in the first week of December and was supposed to be released in the same month. 

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who too was present at the conference, said India is creating adequate number of jobs for new entrants, but “probably we are not creating high quality jobs”. 

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel