More and more unorganised sector firms in the country are keeping the number of employees at less than 10 to possibly stay out of the ambit of the stringent labour laws.
The fifth Economic Census, 2005, released on Thursday, states that the number of hired labourers (temporary staffers) has shot up to 54.3 million in 2005, from 43.3 million in the last census conducted in 1998. In 1998, as many as 2.76 per cent of the 30.35 million establishments employed more than 10 permanent staff. This has fallen to 1.51 per cent in 2005.
"One explanation could be that more and more establishments are finding it difficult to deal with labour laws and are employing more hired labourers," said a senior Central Statistical Organisation official.
However, the growth of employment during 1998-2005 was 2.78 per cent per annum. This is considerably higher than the rate of 1.75 per cent from 1990 to 1998.
The employment growth was 3.88 per cent in rural areas and 1.70 per cent in urban areas. During 1998-2005, the maximum growth in the number establishments was in Mizoram, followed by Tripura, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.