Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) Quarterly Bulletin: April-June 2022


The National Statistical Office of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, initiated the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017. The survey provides estimates for indicators such as the labour force participation rate (LFPR), the worker population ratio (WPR), and includes data on the employment status of workers and the sector (agriculture, secondary or tertiary) they work in. It also supplies data on the unemployment rate (UR) in the country. Data is calculated in urban areas as per the current weekly status (CWS), that is, “on the basis of a reference period of last seven days preceding the date of survey.” The results of the survey are released in the form of quarterly bulletins, each covering three months of the survey year.

This quarterly bulletin – covering the period of April to June 2022 – is the fifteenth publication in the PLFS series. The data collection on the field for this report concluded in July 2022. The survey for this quarter covered 173,271 people from 44,660 households across 5,721 urban frame survey (UFS) blocks. The sample included 87,899 men and 85,359 women. Additionally, the report provides data from the four preceding quarters: January-March 2022, October-December 2021, July-September 2021, and April-June 2021.

The 63-page document contains three sections: Introduction (Section 1); Key findings (Section 2); and Sample Size (Section 3).


  1. The ‘labour force’ is the share of the population “which supplies or offers to supply labour for pursuing economic activities” and thus includes both employed and unemployed people. The labour force participation rate (LFPR) measures the share of labour force within a population. The LFPR for the period of April-June 2022 was 37.2 per cent, same as the previous quarter. It was recorded to be 57.2 per cent among men and 16.4 per cent among women.

  2. In the same period – April to June 2022 – the lowest LFPR figures were recorded in Bihar (6.9 per cent among women and 48.6 per cent among men). Himachal Pradesh had the highest LFPR for women (25.8 per cent) whereas West Bengal noted the highest for men (62.1 per cent).

  3. The worker population ratio (WPR) is termed as the “percentage of workers in the population”. For the second quarter of 2022, the overall WPR in India (as per the current weekly status) was 34.4 per cent. The figures for men were 53.1 per cent while the figure for women was 14.9 per cent.

  4. Of the 22 states and union territories for which the document provides data, Himachal Pradesh (20.9 per cent) recorded the highest WPR among women, followed by Tamil Nadu (20.6 per cent). Bihar (six per cent), followed by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh (both 7.2 per cent) had the lowest WPR for women.

  5. The PLFS outlines the percentage of workers across three categories: self-employed, regular wage/salaried employee and casual labour. In the second quarter of 2022 (April-June 2022), the highest percentage (48.6 per cent) earned regular wages or salaries. Around 39.2 per cent were self-employed and 12.1 per cent were engaged in ‘casual labour’. Casual labour is defined as that which is of “casual or seasonal or intermittent nature."

  6. Of the men surveyed (aged 15 years and above), 40 per cent were self-employed, 46.7 per cent were salaried employees or earned a regular wage and 13.3 per cent were casual labourers. Likewise, 36.6 per cent women in that age-group were self-employed, 55.8 per cent earned a regular wage or salary and 7.6 per cent were employed in casual labour.

  7. The survey also outlines the distribution of workers across the agricultural, secondary (mining and quarrying among others) and tertiary sectors. During April-June 2022, 5.7 per cent workers in urban areas were engaged in the agriculture sector, 34 per cent in the secondary sector and the highest (60.3 per cent) in the tertiary sector.

  8. Most female workers surveyed (64.9 per cent) were employed in the tertiary sector, followed by the secondary sector (26.8 per cent). Only 8.2 per cent women workers worked in the agriculture sector. Among the men surveyed, the pattern remained the same – 59 per cent worked in the tertiary sector followed by 35.9 per cent and five per cent respectively in the secondary and agriculture sectors.

  9. As per the current weekly approach, a person is considered unemployed if they have not worked even for an hour during the week under consideration but have looked for work or were available for employment. The unemployment rate (UR) is the “percentage of unemployed persons in the labour force.” Across all ages, the overall UR was 7.6 per cent – 9.5 per cent among women and 7.1 per cent among men.

  10. The UR was considerably higher (18.9 per cent) among people in the age-group of 15-29 years. The unemployment rate was higher within the female labour force (23.9 per cent) than the male labour force (17.4 per cent).

  11. In the second quarter of 2022, of the states and union territories for which the survey provides data, the overall UR was highest in Jammu and Kashmir at 13.8 per cent – 8.7 per cent among men and 29.1 per cent among women. The lowest was recorded in Gujarat at 3.3 per cent – three per cent among men and 4.5 per cent among women.

    Focus and Factoids by Devanshi Parekh.


National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi


National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi


31 Aug, 2022