The Times of India Kolkata, October 29, 2013
Saibal Sen TNN
Kolkata: While employment rates across Indian cities have increased, it is a curious case in Kolkata and Howrah. Employment figures released by the 66th round of the National Sample Survey Office for the period July 2009-June 2010 shows that women are more likely to get employment than men in Kolkata and Howrah.
Bangalore witnessed the sharpest decrease in unemployment rate for women (10%) followed by Vadodara (5%) and Howrah (5%) between 2004-05 and 2009-10. The report shows for every 1,000 women surveyed, 604 women from Howrah are likely to be either salaried or are regular wagers. In Kolkata, it is 610. Women employment figures in Kolkata rose to 352 per 1,000 women as against 299, a decade ago. Women from Kolkata are also less likely to take up oddjobs (casual labourers) with their numbers falling from 150 to a mere 38 per 1,000 women surveyed, according to the NSSO report.
This all-India survey covered 7,402 villages and 5,252 urban blocks spread over 1,00,957 households (59,129 in rural areas and 41,828 in urban areas) and took into account 4,59,784 persons (2,81,327 in rural areas and 1,78,457 in urban areas).
As per Population Census 2001, 27 class I cities with a population of one million or more figured in the survey which included two from Bengal - Kolkata and Howrah. The figure of employed men in 2009-10 was 73% for class I cities and for women, 17%. The Worker Population Ratio (WPR) shows that during 2009-10, the proportion of persons of age 15 years and above employed according to usual status was 74% among men and 18% among women in urban India.
According to the survey, 352 women per 1,000 are selfemployed, 610 regular wage earners or salaried. In 1999-2000, the figure was 299 selfemployed; 545 salaried or self-employed.
Only 396 men on the other hand, were found to be selfemployed compared to 444 in 1999-2000; for regular wagers and salaried, it is 399 now - a dip from 406 in 1999-2000. For men, only casual labourers have increased over this period. For women this sector has dropped drastically.