J&K Records Second Highest Unemployment Rate In India At 46.3%

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At 67.3 Percent, More Women Jobless Than Men

Srinagar- Despite defying the non-governmental reports on rising unemployment in J&K, on Monday, the Government of India's Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation published its latest Periodic Labour Force Survey stating that the grueling unemployment figures among educated youth in J&K has reached 46.3 percent, second highest in India.

A report titled “Periodic Labour Force Survey April-June 2021” released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation shows that urban unemployment rate jumped to 12.6 percent in April-June 2021 from 9.3 percent in the previous quarter.

As per the report, a copy of which lies with Kashmir Observer, J&K’s urban unemployment rate for 15-29 age group has reached 46.3 percent from the 44.1 percent in the previous quarter. As per the data, J&K’s unemployment in the educated category is the second highest unemployment rate after Kerala where the percentage stood at 47 percent.

The urban unemployment rate in J&K for persons aged 15 and above was 17.6 percent in April-June 2021, same as the January-march quarter, the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) said.

The report has also noted that in J&K, the unemployment in the 15-29 age-group was highest among women compared to men. “The joblessness among women in J&K was recorded at 67.3 percent in April-June 2021 while the unemployment rate for men was noted at 39.1 percent.” The PLFS report said.

Unemployment among the youth in J&K has multiplied after Covid outbreak, according to the PLFS data from 2019. The unemployment rate among the youth aged between 15-29 years was 33.8 percent relatively lower than what it was recorded in the Quarter 1 of 2022.

Kerala was in the top spot among the states in the country when it comes to unemployment of youth before Covid in the (January-march 2020 Quarter) with 40.5 percent while J&K stood at 37.6 percent. But after Covid, in the October-December 2020, Jammu and Kashmir topped the table with 43.9 percent.

The Periodic Labour Force Survey has further said that since April 2020, for the 15-29 age-group, unemployment in J&K has increased by more than 6 percent till June 2021. In the April-June 2020, the Unemployment rate was recorded at 39.6 percent, in July-September it stood at 41.8 percent, in October-December it went to a grueling 43.9 percent, in January-march 2021 the unemployment rate touched 44.1 percent and in the April-June 2021, the rate increased to a brutal 46.3 percent.

Pertinently last year, Kashmir Observer had reported that the National Statistical Office (NSO)’s latest report, “Annual Report, Periodic Labour Force Survey(PLFS),” for the Quarter 3 of Financial year 2020-21, had revealed that J&K had the highest unemployment rate followed by Kerala at 16.7 percent and Jharkhand at 16 percent, for all age groups.

Notably, as per the report, the overall youth unemployment rate had spiked to 34.7% in April-June quarter of 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic. Besides J&K and Kerala, many other states have witnessed a marginal slowdown in the unemployment rate in the June quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter.

The Ministry of Statistics and programme implementation has surveyed 1,390 households in J&K in which 1539 persons of age 15-29 years were included to understand the unemployment scenario in J&K.

Since the resumption of fieldwork in June 2020, for about 94.23% of the revisit schedules for the period April-June, 2021, the PLFS information was collected over the telephone. The ministry had adopted the telephonic mode in order to minimize the physical interaction with informants so as to contain the spread of Covid virus and to cope up with pandemic related restrictions.

The details of unemployment rate came to light in the periodic labour force survey (PLFS) conducted by National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) during October-December in 2020. The survey is organized every three months to evaluate the unemployment in urban areas.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

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

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