NSSO data suggest most Ahmedabad women do not want to work at workplace, have hugely shifted to self-employment

women1By Rajiv Shah*

The National Sample Survey Organization’s (NSSO’s) report, “Employment and Unemployment Situation in Cities and Towns in India”, dated May 20, 2015, has revealed that, among seven major Indian cities, Ahmedabad women’s work participation ratio is not only one of the lowest. An analysis of the NSSO data for two separate periods – 2004-05 and 2011-12 – suggests that the city’s women have lately increasingly shunned from going to work, and those who continue to work, have preferred to work more as self-employed, mainly as home-based workers, instead of working as salaried workers in factories and offices, or as casual workers on work sites. In fact, while the NSSO data suggest the existence of a huge male-female gap in the participation in productive labour activity as an all-India urban trend, there is clear indication that the gap is specially very sharp in Ahmedabad.

Below are given some graphic details in order to illustrate the trend in worker-population ratio (WPR) between 2004-05 and 2011-12, as also per thousand males and females working as self-employed, regular workers and  casual workers in seven major cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Male worker-population ratio (WPR):

While fall in male WPR in the 15 plus age is an all-India trend, and there is also a fall in  male WPR in Ahmedabad between 2004-05 and 2011-12, it remains pretty high compared to all major Indian cities, with the exception of Bangalore.

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Male worker-population ratio per 1000

 

Female worker-population ratio (WPR):

Like male WPR, female WPR has been showing a downward trend across all major cities of India, including Ahmedabad. However, as the data suggest, in Ahmedabad female WPR is lower than not only urban India, but also below Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. In fact, four major cities – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata – show that female WPR has risen between 2004-05 and 2011-12.

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Female worker-population ratio: Per 1000

 

Self-employed males:

As many as 417 persons worked as self-employed in Ahmedabad, almost equal to the all-India average of 418 per thousand. But this is higher than most major cities with the exception of Kolkata (509 per thousand). At the same time, the data show that number of males working as self-employed in Ahmedabad went up from 369 to 478, as against the all-India trend of fall in the proportion of self-employed males.

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Self-employed males: Per 1000

 

Male regular workers:

In Ahmedabad there is a slight fall in the proportion of number of male workers who are paid salaries on a regular basis from 525 per thousand in 2004-05 to 488 per thousand in 2011-12, as against the all-India trend of a rise in regular workers both in the urban areas of the country as a whole and in all major cities with the exception of Delhi and Koltata.

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Male regular workers: Per 1000

 

Male casual workers:

The proportion of male casual workers in Ahmedabad has gone down sharply in Ahmedabad from 107 per thousand to just about 34 per thousand. Most of major Indian cities have simultaneously witnessed a sharp fall in male casual workers, though the all-India trend suggests there the number of male casual workers is very high in the country, which may be because of sharp rise in casualization of work force in smaller cities.

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Male casual workers: Per 1000

 

Female self-employed:

The proportion of females working as self-employed in Ahmedabad is the highest among major Indian cities as also the a-India average of urban areas. At 637 per thousand, it is way above all the country’s 426 per thousand. At the same time, there is a sharp rise in the proportion of self-employed women in Ahmedabad, which was 388 per thousand in 2004-05, much against other major Indian cities, where a contrary trend appears to have prevailed.

urban6
Female self-employed: Per 1000

 

Female regular workers:

The sharp rise in the proportion of self-employed females in Ahmedabad stands in complete contrast to a very low proportion of females working as regular salaried workers. While there is a slight increase in from 299 to 311 between 2004-05 and 2011-12, it is way below not only all-India average but all major Indian cities.

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Female regular workers: Per 1000

 

Female casual workers:

The trend of working female population in Ahmedabad suggests that majority of those who had been working as casual workers have shifted to self-employment. In 2004-05 there were 313 females per thousand who worked as casual workers in Ahmedabad, which fell to just 53 per thousand in 2011-12. Such drastic fall in female casual workers runs contrary to the all-India trend.

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Female casual workers: Per 1000

 

*Senior journalist

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