-The Economic Times
The labour ministry has set up a panel to look into discrepancies into its second annual employment and unemployment survey, which may have resulted in wide variation in performance of different states.
"The committee will look at all aspects of the survey, including the methodology and the original field level data used. It will also look out for processing errors," a labour ministry official told ET.
The findings of the committee, however, will not be used to improve the second survey report, but would be incorporated in the third survey, the work for which has already started.
Labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge ordered the setting up of the committee, comprising senior officials and advisers to improve the quality of data collection as questions were being raised about the data of individual states, the official said.
While the over-all unemployment rate in 2011-12 was estimated at 3.8% by the survey, in Goa it was as high as 17% and in Gujarat it was a low 1%. Other states like Tripura, Sikkim, Kerala and Bihar also reported high rates.
In its first annual employment and unemployment survey carried out in 2010-11, the labour ministry had come up with an unemployment rate of 9.4%, which raised credibility questions as it clashed with the National Sample Survey Organisation's unemployment figure of 2.8% for 2008.
The labour ministry then set up an expert group under eminent statistician S P Mukherjee to recommend changes to the methodology used. As a result of the changes made, unemployment rate for 2011-12 dropped sharply to below 4% (as reported by ET on June 29 2012). "We don't know whether there would be scope for suggesting many changes, but all possible errors will be identified," the official said.
The report is expected to be prepared in a month, and the suggestions would be examined by the expert group headed by Dr Mukherjee that carried out the second survey.