Are we undercounting India’s women workers? -Roshan Kishore and Abhishek Jha
An HT analysis of per capita worker incomes and per capita incomes in China and India showed that India’s gap with China was much larger when it came to per capita incomes than per worker incomes.
India needs more women to join the workforce. According to the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), only 25.9% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 were either working or looking for work. This number is 78.3% for men. Unless the gender gap in employment is bridged, the economy will not able to exploit the full potential of its young workforce. This has a direct bearing on per capita income levels. An HT analysis of per capita worker incomes and per capita incomes in China and India showed that India’s gap with China was much larger when it came to per capita incomes than per worker incomes. According to World Bank data, China’s per capita GDP was 2.4 times that of India in 2016. In terms of per worker GDP, this ratio was just 1.7. The gap between China’s lead over India in terms of per capita GDP and per worker GDP has been increasing over the past three decades.
While there can be little doubt about the need for bringing more women into the workforce, two government reports suggest that there is significant ambiguity about the number of women workers in the country.
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Hindustan Times, 18 December, 2020, https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/are-we-undercounting-india-s-women-workers/story-u8C3cjGpr62UMAkig7osDL.html