The employment story is actually a bit more nuanced. Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, employment for males in rural areas went up by 2.7 million (persons in the workforce classified by “usual status”), but that was offset by a loss of 2.7 million jobs for women in rural areas. Similarly, between 2004-05 and 2009-10, while rural employment went up by 13 million for male workers, it declined by 19.5 million for rural female workers.

So the real issue is the decline in employment among women in rural areas. There’s no such problem in the urban areas—although the number of women employed in urban areas went down between 2004-05 and 2009-10, that was more than made up by 2011-12. A number of explanations have been offered for the decline in women’s employment in rural areas, including more girls going in for education and women withdrawing from the workforce because of increased household income. Read More