Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) – Quarterly Bulletin [January-March 2022]

New Delhi :Considering the importance of availability of labour force data at more frequent time intervals, National Statistical Office (NSO) launched Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017.

The objective of PLFS is primarily twofold:

  • to estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the ‘Current Weekly Status’ (CWS).
  • to estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both ‘Usual Status’ (ps+ss) and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.

On the basis of the data collected in PLFS, four Annual Reports of PLFS corresponding to the periods July 2017 – June 2018, July 2018 – June 2019, July 2019 – June 2020 and July 2020- June 2021 covering both rural and urban areas giving estimates of all important parameters of employment and unemployment in both usual status (ps+ss) and current weekly status (CWS) have been released.

Besides these Annual Reports, thirteen Quarterly Bulletins of PLFS corresponding to the quarter ending December 2018 to quarter ending December 2021have already been released. In these quarterly bulletins estimates of labour force indicators, viz., Worker population ratio (WPR), Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Unemployment Rate (UR), distribution of workers by broad status in employment and industry of work in the Current Weekly Status (CWS) for urban areas have been presented.

The present Quarterly Bulletin is the fourteenth in the series for the quarter January- March2022.

PLFS fieldwork during COVID-19 pandemic

During the major waves of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the field work was suspended in most parts of the country for short durations each time as per local situations, and was subsequently resumed with COVID-19 related restrictions. This, therefore, had a spill-over effect in completion of pending field work during subsequent Quarters. However, with extra efforts by the field staff, the pendency of field work could be gradually reduced. In cases, where field work of canvassing the Schedules in respect of the pending samples were undertaken later, the information was collected with respect to the actual  reference period  which would have been adopted had there been no pandemic. Thus, there was no break in the flow of information collected for any Quarter except that informants were approached at a later date due to the unavoidable situation. The field work for collection of information in respect of the FSUs allotted for the Quarter January – March, 2022 was completed by 04.04.2022 for the first visit samples and by 31.03.2022 for revisit samples.

B.         Sample Design of PLFS

A rotational panel sampling design has been used in urban areas. In this rotational panel scheme, each selected household in urban areas is visited four times, in the beginning with ‘First Visit Schedule’ and thrice periodically later with a ‘Revisit Schedule’. The scheme of rotation ensures that 75% of the first-stage sampling units (FSUs) are matched between two consecutive visits.

C.         Sample Size

At the all-India level, in the urban areas, a total number of 5,714 FSUs (UFS blocks) have been surveyed during the quarter January – March 2022. The number of urban households surveyed was 44,778 and number of persons surveyed was 1,73,091 in urban areas.

  1. Conceptual Framework of Key Employment and Unemployment Indicators for the Quarterly Bulletin: The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) gives estimates of Key employment and unemployment Indicators like the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR), Unemployment Rate (UR), etc. These indicators, and ‘Current Weekly Status’ are defined as follows:

  1. Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR): LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in labour force (i.e. working or seeking or available for work) in the population.

  1. Worker Population Ratio (WPR): WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.

  1. Unemployment Rate (UR): UR is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force.

  1. Current Weekly Status (CWS): The activity status determined on the basis of a reference period of last 7 days preceding the date of survey is known as the current weekly status (CWS) of the person.

  1. The Quarterly Bulletin for the quarter January – March 2022is available at the website of the Ministry ( The key results are given in the statements annexed.


Key Findings of PLFS, Quarterly Bulletin (January –March2022)

Statement 1:  LFPR (in per cent) in CWS in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above


NSS survey period Male Female Person
(1) (2) (3) (4)
January – March 2021 73.5 21.2 47.5
April – June 2021 73.1 20.1 46.8
July – September 2021 73.5 19.9 46.9
October – December 2021 73.9 20.2 47.3
January – March 2022 73.4 20.4 47.3

Statement 2:  WPR (in per cent) in CWS in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above


NSS survey period Male Female Person
(1) (2) (3) (4)
January – March 2021 67.2 18.7 43.1
April – June 2021 64.2 17.2 40.9
July – September 2021 66.6 17.6 42.3
October – December 2021 67.8 18.1 43.2
January – March 2022 67.7 18.3 43.4

Statement 3:  UR (in per cent) in CWS in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above


NSS survey period Male Female Person
(1) (2) (3) (4)
January – March 2021 8.6 11.8 9.3
April – June 2021 12.2 14.3 12.6
July – September 2021 9.3 11.6 9.8
October – December 2021 8.3 10.5 8.7
January – March 2022 7.7 10.1 8.2

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