by Martha Chen
Paper presented at ICRIER Workshop on”Growth and Inclusion”, january 2012
During the first decade of the 21st century, the Indian economy grew at rates in excess of 7 per cent per annum, up from average growth rates of around 5 per cent during the 1990s. However, these high rates of output growth have not been matched by employment growth. The inability of high rates of growth in India to generate sufficient employment opportunities first received serious attention in the late 1990s when aggregate employment generation fell quite significantly (Chandrasekhar and Ghosh 2007).
This paper explores trends in urban employment in India, with a focus on urban informal employment.3 The data presented are from three of the recent large-sample rounds of the
National Sample Survey which are carried out every five years in India: the 55th Round covering 1999/2000, the 61st Round covering 2004/2005, and the 66th Round covering 2009/2010. All tables in this paper are based on tabulations of the raw data by one of the authors (G. Raveendran). The paper also draws on two analyses of these rounds of the NSSO data by C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (Chandrasekhar and Ghosh 2007, Chandrasekhar and Ghosh 2011).