22.2 % in October: Unemployment Rate Rises Again in J&K

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Srinagar: Explaining the grim state of economic affairs, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has recorded a back-breaking unemployment rate of 22.2 percent in Jammu & Kashmir for the month of October.

According to the CMIE’s “30 day moving average” survey for the month of October, J&K’s 22.2 percent unemployment rate is the third-worst recorded unemployment rate among other states & union territories in India. The erstwhile state’s 22.2 percent unemployment rate was succeeded by the states of Rajasthan and Haryana where the unemployment rate stood at 29.6 percent and 30.7 percent, respectively.

Notably, at the beginning of 2021, J&K’s unemployment rate was 21.9 percent which dipped to 14.2 per cent in February, 9.5 percent in March, 11.4 per cent in April, 11.9 per cent in May and 10.6 per cent in June, 15.4 percent in July and 13.6 percent in the month August.

Though the J&K’s unemployment rate, as per CMIE, had witnessed a decline since January 2021 till August 2021, it took an ugly turn in the month of September when it surpassed the national average of unemployment. As per CMIE, for the month of October, the unemployment rate in J&K has been recorded at the highest since the beginning of this year.

Using the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey machinery, CMIE has pegged India’s unemployment rate at 7.7 percent which itself ascertains the fact that the erstwhile state of J&K has much higher unemployment rate than the national average.

According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), the combined unemployment rate of J&K and Ladakh had hit the highest of 17.8 percent in October-December, 2020, against the national average of 7.11 percent.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy had put the unemployment rate at 12.13 percent in J&K in 2017 and since the 2018 fall of the coalition government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the BJP in J&K, job availability has been significantly slackening.

Besides these official figures, the other data sources accessed by Kashmir Observer indicate the severity of unemployment in J&K.

As per the National Statistical Office (NSO)’s latest report, “Annual Report, Periodic Labour Force Survey(PLFS),” for the Quarter 3 of Financial year 2020, J&K had the highest unemployment rate followed by Kerala at 16.7 percent and Jharkhand at 16 percent.

The report has also revealed that the unemployment rate in J&K was highest among the women compared to the men. For women, the report noted, the rate was recorded at 13.1 per cent whereas the unemployment rate among men in the region was recorded at 9.5 per cent during October-December Financial year 20-21.

The report also revealed that last year the unemployment rate for women in J&K was recorded at 9.8 percent and 7.3 per cent for men.

“In the July-September 2019 quarter the unemployment rate in urban J&K was recorded at 4.8 percent, October-December 2019 at 7.3 per cent, January-March 2020 at 9.2 per cent and April-June 2020 at 10.1 percent,” the report says.

It is pertinent to mention here that NSO has surveyed 231 villages of rural J&K where more than 8900 persons were surveyed and in 1400 households of 175 blocks in Urban J&K, where over 6300 persons were surveyed for the compilation of the report.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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