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The reverse migration of labour from factories to farms that CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey has been chronicling for long is also reflected in the government’s Periodic Labour Force Survey. The latest PLFS report shows a sharp increase in employment in agriculture from 42.5 per cent of the total employment in 2018-19 to 45.6 per cent in 2019-20. This shift of labour to agriculture is larger than estimated by CPHS.
Such a large shift of labour in favour of agriculture cannot be voluntary. It is a sign of distress in the labour market where non-agricultural sectors are unable to provide employment and labour is forced to shift to agriculture. The forced or at least involuntary nature of this migration is evident