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The much-awaited results of India’s first Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) have finally been released. The most widely cited statistic from this report is the unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent. This rate is based on the usual status approach which relates to the activity status of a person during the reference period of 365 days preceding the date of survey. Significantly, the unemployment rate based on the current weekly status (CWS), determined on the basis of the activity status for a person during a reference period of seven days preceding the date of survey, is higher at 8.9 per cent. Having a longer reference period, the usual status measures report a larger number of employed compared to the CWS measures. As India moves towards reporting labour force indicators at an annual and quarterly frequency, it is more appropriate to anchor the policy discourse in the CWS measure. Being inherently smoother, the usual status measures are unlikely to vary much over short time inter
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