Workforce diversification in sectors – some statistics

Consequently, in the total (rural plus urban and males plus females) workforce, the share of the agriculture and allied activities sector records a significant decline of over 4% points from 639 per 1000 in 1993-94 to 598 per 1000 in 1999-2000. This reduction in the share of the agriculture sector in the workforce is in fact sharp enough to marginally reduce the absolute number of workers in agriculture for the first time since independence — from 239 million in 1993-94 to less than 236 million in 1999-2000.

The manufacturing sector (excluding repair services) records a minor rise in its share in the aggregate workforce, from 107 per 1000 to 111 per 1000, between 1993-94 and 1999-2000. This is despite a 1% point reduction in its share in the urban workforce and is largely due to rise in the urban share in the total workforce.

In aggregate terms, the biggest gainer in the share of workforce has been the trade, hotel and restaurant sector — from 7.6% in 1993-94 to 10.4 % in 1999-2000. This sector has now emerged as the third largest in terms of workforce behind the agriculture and the manufacturing sectors. The size of workforce in this sector has grown from 28.5 million to 41 million over the period 1993-94 to 1999-2000, at a compound rate of 6.2% per annum.

In terms of gains in share of the workforce, the construction sector is second only to the trade, hotel and restaurant sector, with gains in all segments and a 12 (per1000) point gain in terms of aggregate. Aggregate employment in this sector too has grown at 6.2% per annum in the period between the two surveys from a little over 12 million in 1993 -94 to 17.4 million in 1999 – 2000.

The transport, storage and communications sector have raised their share from 29 to 37 per 1000 in the aggregate terms, though its share in the female workforce has remained virtually unchanged. In rural areas its share has increased by 50% from 14 per 1000 to 21 per 1000 while the increase in its share in the urban work force is a modest 10% (from 79 per 1000 to 87 per 1000). In aggregate terms, this sector has absorbed about 20% of the incremental workforce.

Work force diversity in organized and unorganized sectors

The dimensions and complexities of the problem in India can be better appreciated by taking into consideration the extent of the labor force in the organized and unorganized sectors. The latest NSSO survey of 1999-2000 has revealed vast dichotomy between these two sectors. While, as per the 1991 census, the total workforce was about 314 million and the organized sector accounted for only 27 million of this workforce of this workforce, the NSSO survey of 1999-2000 has estimated that the workforce may have increased to about 397 million out of which only 28 million were in the organized sector. Thus, it can be concluded from these findings that there has been a growth of only about one million in the organized sector in comparison to growth of about of about 55 million in the unorganized sector.