The Economic & Political Weekly (EPW) contends the government report on 'Estimates of employment and unemployment for 2011-12' have been over-estimated by 30 per cent. The survey in question was by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
According to the article, in question, authored by an Abhishek Shaw, NSSO overestimated employment generation by four million people. This means the estimate of 13.9 million job generation would actually be 9.35 million between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2012.
The error arises because the 2009-10 report used projections of population made in the Census of 2001 and the 2011-12 report based it on projections made in the Census of 2011, it says."Specifically, it seems to have used outdated projections of the total population in 2009-10, which have since been shown to be under-estimates. This has, therefore, placed employment in 2009-10 at a lower level than it actually was and, therefore, gives an exaggerated picture of the growth of employment between 2009-10 and 2011-12," says the article.
The Census of 2001 projected India's population for 2011 at 1.19 billion. According to the Census of 2011, the actual population that year was 1.21 billion. Therefore, the Census of 2001's projection for 2011 underestimated the actual number by around 18 million. It can also be safely assumed that the population projection for January 1, 2010, made by the NSSO using the Census of 2001, is also an underestimate, says the article.
This underestimation of the 2010 population by the Census of 2001 means the absolute number of persons employed in 2009-10 as estimated by the NSSO that year (worker-population ratio multiplied by the population projection for January 1, 2010) cannot be compared with the similar estimate of employed in 2011-12 as thrown up by the NSSO survey for that year but by using the Census of 2011.
If estimates drawn from the 2009-10 report using Census 2001 are most likely underestimates, comparing these with the estimates drawn from the 2011-12 report using Census 2011 makes the growth in employment in India look better than it really was, says the report.