As per the statistics available, Women’s employability is at 51.44 percent for 2022, compared to 41.25 percent in 2021. This estimates an employable available talent pool of women to be 9.2 crores in urban India. The Female Labor Force Participation Rate (FLFPR) has continued to fall over the last three decades.
“As per Governmental data, both the industrial sector & the services sector have recorded an increase in GVA (Gross Value Added). In Q1 of FY 2021-22 (Industrial sector’s GVA grew by 67% and the services sector’s GVA grew by 18% during this time frame). There are over 1.84 Crores of women in urban India who are currently employed. As per the data put together by Avtar, employable and available women talent is likely to surge to 7.4 Crores in 2022. Close to 3.8 lakh companies are expected to offer remote work in 2022 (this is almost double the number of companies offering the same in 2016). The Budget announcements are a leg-up to include a larger pool of talent to participate in the country’s GDP,” said Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder- President of Avtar Group commenting on the Union Budget 2021.
Furthermore, with a boost to MSME sector and a focus on formalizing it, Union Budget 2022 has set the tone for a massive push to create more jobs, benefitting women predominantly.
The PLFS Quarterly 2021 reported that the female labour force participation rate (FLFPR) had dropped to 21.2% in March 2021 compared to 21.9% one-year prior. During the same period, the female unemployment rate increased to 11.8% in March 2021 from 10.6% the year before.
However, the economy has begun to look up with a forecast of a robust growth of 8 to 8.5%, as per the Economic Survey for the year 2022-2023. The pandemic led momentum for MakeInIndia that stressed atmanirbhar Bharat is also foreseen to create 6 million new jobs.
Amid these, the MSME, a key sector, has the potential to boost women’s workforce participation. The sector comprises 45% of the total manufacturing output, 40 % of exports and 30 % of GDP. Dr Saundarya Rajesh, further adds, “Micro and small enterprises have got a lot of attention in the latest budget and through skilling, the employability especially of women gets an impetus. Alongside the mammoth push for MSMEs, another encouraging initiative is the focus on tier-2 and tier 3 to make them centers of sustainable living. This is a big step and can push women’s workforce participation, as it would open up opportunities for them closer to home.”
Skilling initiatives in the space are of significance because the sector has three different groups of labour—newcomers, existing mid-level employees and the more skilled. All three need different levels of skilling including reskilling and upskilling. As per the data available with Avtar only over 1.7 lakh companies registered were invested in the process of upskilling in the year 2016. “We foresee more than 3.9 lakh companies to be invested in upskilling. An upskilled workforce will further boost the country’s GDP that is being predicted to grow at 8.5% GDP in this year 2022-23,” added Dr Saundarya.