Overall, labour-force to population ratio (in the age group 15 years and above) at 56 per cent is low in India compared to nearly 64 per cent for the rest of the world. The low participation in India is largely because the female labour force participation rate (LFPR) is dismally low at 31 per cent, which is amongst the lowest in the world and the second lowest in South Asia after Pakistan.
Census of 2011 clearly brings out the fast decelerating rate of growth in overall workforce, particularly that of females, between 2001 and 2011. But the work participation rate has not declined, if not increase, as the rate of growth in workforce is not less than that of population. Also the incremental workforce especially the male is getting reduced to marginal workers category whereas the high concentration of female in the category of marginal workers is slightly reduced. Occupational distribution of workforce shows that cultivators are declining such decline in agriculture is replaced by increasing agricultural labour. Growth of workforce in non-agriculture is higher than that of agriculture. Growth of female workers engaged in non-agriculture is higher than their male counterparts.
In agriculture sector which is the main contributor of employment, nearly 97 per cent of the employment is informal in nature . But the share of agriculture in total employment has decreased from 58.50 per cent in 2004-05 to 48.90 per cent in 2011-12 which is indicative of the structural transformation of the sector. In manufacturing sector the increase in share of employment was accounted for by the organised sector which showed an increase in both formal and informal employment.