Labour participation dips to 40% from 46% in six years

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Labour participation dips to 40% from 46% in six years

  • Only 40% of Indians of legal working age were employed or were looking for jobs in 2021-22 according to data from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy.

Labor Force Participation Rate

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It is a measure used to analyze the working-age population in a given economy.

  • The participation rate is a measure of the total number of persons who are working or looking for work.
  • This data set excludes those who are not looking for work, such as full-time students, stay-at-home moms, and people above the age of 64.

Present statistics of India

  • Labour force participation for women drops to 9.2% from 15%.
  • India’s labour force has shrunk from about 445 million to 435 million in the six years.
  • Currently, about 1,085 million Indians are aged 15 or above and can be legally employed.
  • Labour force participation among women, which was already in low double digits, has declined further.
  • In 2016-17, about 15% women were employed or looking for jobs. This metric dipped to 9.2% in 2021-22.
  • Among men, the participation rate declined to 67%, from more than 74%.
  • The dip in the participation rate was higher in the urban areas.
  • The rate slid to 37.5% from 44.7% in urban areas - a more than 7 percentage-point drop.
  • The rate in rural areas fell to 41.4% from 46.9%.
  • Of the 24 States with data, 23 saw participation rates decline in March 2022 compared with March 2016.
  • The rate dropped in all the States, except in Rajasthan.
  • Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu had participation rates of 54% and 56%, respectively. (most decline registered in these two states)


  • Because it shows the relative amount of labour resources available for the production of goods and services, the Labor Force Participation Rate is one of the most important labour market indicators.
  • This indicator aids policymakers in implementing favorable welfare policies that increase labour force participation and, as a result, economic production.

Exam Track

Prelims Takeaway

  • Labor Force Participation Rate
  • Labour force participation for women
  • LFPR statistics of India