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Job loss: In a major shift within India’s unincorporated enterprises sector, West Bengal experienced a loss of 3 million jobs from 2015-16 to 2022-23, while Maharashtra saw an addition of 2.4 million workers, making it the best-performing state in this regard.

The latest Annual Survey on Unincorporated Sector Enterprises (ASUSE) report for 2021-22 and 2022-23 was released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday.

An analysis comparing this data with the National Sample Survey’s 73rd round on unincorporated enterprises for 2015-16 revealed that 13 of the 28 states and three Union Territories (UTs) witnessed a decline in the number of workers in the informal sector during the seven-year period.

West Bengal topped the list of states with job losses, followed by Karnataka (1.3 million), Tamil Nadu (1.2 million), Uttar Pradesh (791,000), Andhra Pradesh (677,000), Kerala (640,000), Assam (494,000), and Telangana (344,000).

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Among the Union Territories, Delhi saw a reduction of nearly 300,000 workers in unincorporated enterprises, decreasing to 1.99 million from 2.3 million during the same period. Chandigarh and Puducherry also reported declines of 51,000 and 32,000 workers, respectively. Comparable data for Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh were not available.

Conversely, Maharashtra led the states with the highest increase in informal sector employment. Other states that saw significant growth include Gujarat (762,000), Odisha (761,000), and Rajasthan (756,000).

The ASUSE report underscores the evolving dynamics of employment in India’s unincorporated enterprises, with some states facing significant challenges while others make substantial gains.

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