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Current Weekly Status (CWS) Unemployment

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The Current Weekly Status (CWS) approach to measuring unemployment uses seven days preceding the date of survey as the reference period.

A person is considered to be employed if he or she pursues any one or more of the gainful activities for at least one-hour on any day of the reference week. On the other hand, if a person does not pursue any gainful activity, but has been seeking or available for work, the person is considered as unemployed.

For classification of the population under current weekly status approach, a priority-cum-major time rule has been adopted. According to the criteria, status of ‘working’ gets priority over status of ‘not working’ or ‘being available for work’. Status of ‘seeking or being available for work’ in turn gets priority over non-gainful activities pursued. When a person is found to be possessing more than one gainful activity, the unique activity is decided as that activity on which relatively more time has been spent.

An individual is classified as being in the labour force if he reports as ‘working’ (employed) at least for an hour on at least one day in the week preceding the survey and/or h/she reports as having ‘seeking/available for work’ (unemployed) during the reference period.

If the person reports as neither working nor seeking/available for work during the seven day reference period, then he is considered as outside the labour force.

The usual status approach to measuring unemployment fails to capture the short term fluctuations in employment and unemployment caused due to seasonality in labour markets. However, CWS measures these short term fluctuations very well owing to its shorter reference period of a week.

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