HomeIndiaShare of self-employed in urban areas rises post-pandemic: NSO report

Share of self-employed in urban areas rises post-pandemic: NSO report

In the midst of a massive loss of during the pandemic, more men and women in declared themselves self-employed in 2021-22, according to a report published by the National Statistical Office (NSO).

The report titled “Women and Men in India 2022” showed that 39.5% of workers were men and 39.4% were women in reported that they were self-employed, compared to 38.7% and 34.5%, respectively, during the year prior to the 2018-19 pandemic. In 2020-21, when the pandemic hit the Indian economy, the share of wage earners in it dropped to 45.3 percent for men and 50.1 percent for women. In 2021-22, recovery was faster for men at 46.2% than for women at 50.3%.

“There has been an increase in the number of people classifying themselves as self-employed in recent years due to the massive loss of jobs, including salaried ones. What happened during the pandemic. However, men have been more successful in regaining those salaried jobs, but the number of women classifying themselves as self-employed has remained high in recent years due to the difficulties they face in regaining the jobs they lost during the pandemic. This barrier to entry is deeper in the regular salary category, although they have been able to recover some of the jobs lost in the informal sector,” said a labor economist, who requested anonymity.

Despite falling from pre-pandemic levels, the service sector continued to provide the bulk of opportunities for women in urban areas.

The report shows that “other services,” which includes real estate, finance, legal, administration, social work, etc., employs about 40.7 percent of the female workforce, compared to 20.7 percent for men in the survey period. which took place between July 2021 and June 2022. However, this is slightly lower than the pre-pandemic ratio of 44.4% in July 2017-June 2018.

In the latest survey, the participation of women in manufacturing in urban areas stood at 24.3%, slightly down from 25.2% in 2017-18. Consequently, the participation of men was 21.5% in 2021-22, compared to 22.4% in 2017-18.

The agricultural sector, although small in urban areas, also employs more women (11.1%) than men (5.4%).

The employment of women in the highly skilled manufacturing and service sector in urban areas was probably driven by their higher level of enrollment in undergraduate and graduate courses such as nursing, education, library, paramedical sciences, social work, veterinary nursing, physical education, etc .

About 5.4 million women enrolled in arts courses to graduate, compared to 4.9 million men in 2020-21, followed by 2.5 million women in science, about a million in education and close to of 894,000 women enrolled in medical sciences.

However, the other non-agricultural sectors in urban areas such as mining, construction, commerce, hotels and transport continue to provide more employment opportunities for men than for women. For men, trade, hotels and restaurants (25.2 percent) were the largest job providers, followed by manufacturing (21.5 percent) and “other services” (20.7 percent).

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