RBI annual report: Kerala tops in daily wages of workers, Tamil Nadu is third

Both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are also well above the national average in all categories except wages for non-agricultural workers in Karnataka.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Nov 26, 2022 | 11:09 AMUpdatedOct 19, 2023 | 3:22 PM

Kerala tops rural India for daily wages of workers.

Daily wage labourers in Kerala are paid higher than any other state, with Tamil Nadu close behind, says the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) 2021-2022 annual report.

The report, which falls under the section of Handbook of Statistics of Indian States, comes at a time when inflation is at an elevated level and interest rates across the country are high.

The data has divided daily wagers into four categories — non-agricultural, construction, agricultural and horticulture.

While two other Southern states — Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh — are also well above the national average, there is no mention of Telangana in the data released by the RBI.

As per reports, around 25 lakh migrant workers live in Kerala as high wages in the state have attracted workers from other poorly paid states.

Meanwhile, workers get the lowest wage in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat among the 20 states that featured in the report.

Category-wise wages

Non-agricultural labourers

As per the data, non-agricultural daily wage labourers are paid the highest in Kerala, at ₹681.8 per day, which amounts to ₹16,683 for 24 days of work in a month.

For the same number of days, the worker would be paid ₹7,149 (₹297.9 per day) in Karnataka; ₹11,095 (₹462.3) in Tamil Nadu, and ₹8,104 (₹337.7) in Andhra Pradesh.

Some of the non-agricultural works include handicrafts, mining, repairing works and vendors.

When it comes to Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, the daily wager would be paid ₹252.5 per day (₹6,060 for 24 days of work) and ₹230.3 a day (₹5,527 for 24 days).

Meanwhile, the national average in this section ₹326.6 for a day's work.

Construction labourers

The data next puts workers involved in the construction work on the list where those in Kerala make ₹837.7 per day (₹20,104 for 24 days of work). As per the report, this is the highest amount for any daily-wage worker in the country.

In the South, Kerala is followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, respectively.

What is striking to note is that a labourer in Madhya Pradesh would earn ₹6,400 (₹266.7 a day) for the same amount of work while he would earn ₹7,101 (₹295.9) for 24 days of work in Gujarat.

The national average in this category is ₹373.3 per for  day's work

Agricultural labourers

Agriculture is a significant livelihood in rural areas of India. For workers in these jobs, works is influenced by monsoon and rabi and kharif production.

About the daily wages, Kerala again tops the category and is followed by Tamil  Nadu. While the former pays daily wages of ₹726.8 (₹17,443 for 24 days of works), the latter pays a daily wage of  ₹445.6 (₹10,694 for 24 days).

They are followed by Andhra Pradesh (₹8,172 for 24 days) and Karnataka (₹8,044 for 24 days) in the South.

Meanwhile, wages in Madhya Pradesh account for ₹217.8 per day — the lowest nationwide — and Gujarat falls right behind at ₹220.3 per day.

For agricultural daily wagers, ₹323.3 is the countrywide average for a day's work.

Horticulture labourers

The figures for wages of workers in horticulture are only available for six states.

Of them, Karnataka is ranked first with a daily wage of ₹368.6, followed by West Bengal, where the rate is ₹342.2 per day.

Next in the list of daily wages for horticulture are Maharashtra (₹327.5), Andhra Pradesh (₹315), Bihar (₹254.6), Gujarat (₹216.5) and Madhya Pradesh (₹203.6), respectively.