Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) Quarterly Bulletin: April-June 2023


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 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 2023 – is the nineteenth publication in the PLFS series. The data collection for this bulletin concluded in June 2023. The survey for this quarter covered 167,916 individuals from 44,190 households in 5,639 urban frame survey (UFS) blocks across the country. The sample included 85,496 men and 82,417 women. Additionally, the report provides data from the four preceding quarters: January-March 2023, October-December 2022, July-September 2022 and April-June 2022.

The 64-page report comprises three primary 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 country-level LFPR for April-June 2023, as per the current weekly status (CWS), was 57.4 per cent for men and 18.5 per cent for women.

  2. In the April-June 2023 quarter, the lowest overall LFPRs were recorded in Bihar (29.8 per cent), Jharkhand (30.6 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (32.7 per cent).

  3. The worker population ratio (WPR) is termed as the “percentage of workers in the population”. The WPR in India for the second quarter of 2023 was 35.9 per cent. The percentage among male workers (54.1) was considerably higher compared to that among female workers (16.8).

  4. The WPR for the age group of 15 years and above was 45.5 per cent during April-June 2023 – 69.2 per cent for men and 21.1 per cent for women. In this age group, the highest WPRs among men were recorded in Gujarat (75.7 per cent), West Bengal (73.4 per cent) and Assam (72.7 per cent). Correspondingly, Himachal Pradesh (27.8 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (27.2 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (25.6 per cent) registered the highest WPRs among women.

  5. The PLFS also outlines the percentage of workers across three categories: self-employed, regular wage/salaried employee and casual labour. In the April-June 2023 quarter, employees earning regular wage or salaries made up 49.2 per cent of the workforce. Around 39.4 per cent of the surveyed workforce was self-employed and 11.4 per cent engaged in casual labour. Casual labour is defined as labour which is of “casual or seasonal or intermittent nature.”

  6. Among the surveyed workforce in the age group of 15 and above, 47.8 per cent men were salaried employees compared to 54 per cent of women. Those self-employed numbered 39.5 per cent among men compared to 39.2 per cent among women. As many as 12.7 per cent of male workers and 6.8 per cent of female workers were engaged in casual labour.

  7. The survey also outlines the distribution of workers across agricultural, secondary (mining and quarrying among others) and tertiary sectors. In the second quarter of 2023, 5.4 per cent of the workers (4.4 per cent men and nine per cent women) in the urban areas were employed in the agricultural sector.

  8. Around 33.1 per cent people (27.1 per cent of women and 34.9 percent of men) were employed in the secondary sector. A significant majority of the workforce (61.5 per cent) worked in the tertiary sector.

  9. As per the current weekly status, a person is considered unemployed if they have not worked even for an hour during the reference week but looked for work or were available for employment. The unemployment rate (UR) is the “percentage of unemployed persons in the labour force.” The UR among workers across all ages was 6.7 per cent (5.9 per cent among men and 9.2 per cent among women).

  10. The survey found a higher percentage of unemployment in urban areas among workers in the age group of 15-29 years. It was recorded at 15.9 per cent among male workers and 23.4 per cent among female workers.

  11. Among the states and union territories covered within the survey’s scope, Himachal Pradesh reported the highest unemployment rate for April-June 2023 at 14.5 per cent while Delhi recorded the lowest at 2.7 per cent.

    Focus and Factoids by Debadrita Saha.


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


09 Oct, 2023