Agriculture and allied sectors account for about 18% of the Indian economy, but around 40% of employment. How do we reconcile this with the reports we hear of shortages of farm labour? What is the true extent of farm employment in India and how does it differ in states which have traditionally been agriculture- focused vis-à-vis others? Using estimates derived from unit-level data of the Employment and Unemployment Survey, 2004-05, and the Periodic Labour Force Survey, 2018-19, we investigate age-wise, gender-wise and state-wise changes in India’s employment pattern, with agriculture as our focus.

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