Employment Rate In J&K Dips To Five Year Low

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Srinagar- Fresh Figures reveal that the Jammu and Kashmir's unemployment rate for the month of March this year was the worst in the past five years.

As per the data available, the unemployment rate (UR) in J&K has hit a new record with 25 percent unemployment in the first quarter of 2022. The latest UR has astronomically risen since last year and has touched its worst value in 2022, when compared to the past five years.

Pertinently, the unemployment rate seems to be going towards poverty in J&K despite Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman’s repeated assurances of a falling unemployment rate in J&K.

The CMIE, a private economic think-tank in India, in its latest monthly report for the month of April 2022 has estimated the unemployment rate for J&K at 25 percent, which as per CMIE data, is the highest since 2016 when the unemployment rate was recorded at its worst— 29.9 percent.

Amid the unrest of 2016, J&K’s unemployment rate stood at 25.3 percent in September, 26.3 percent in October and 29.9 percent in November.

As per CMIE, since the start of this year, there has been an increase of 11.8 percent in the Unemployment rate. In the month of January, the data notes, J&K’s UR stood at 15 percent. Though in the month of February it dipped down to 13.2 percent but in March the rate took an ugly turn and jumped to a grueling 25 percent.

However, the data has come at a time when the passionate J&K administration had gone ahead to say that the employment in the erstwhile state will gradually increase. “Private investments in J&K would increase to Rs 70,000 crore to give fillip to employment and a peaceful environment in the region.” J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had said.

According to the CMIE’s “30 day moving average” survey, J&K’s 25.0 percent unemployment rate is the second-worst recorded unemployment rate among other states & union territories in India. The erstwhile state was succeeded by the state of Haryana where the unemployment rate stood at 26.7 percent.

Besides these official figures, the other data sources accessed by Kashmir Observer had also indicated the severity of unemployment in J&K. On March 18, Kashmir Observer had reported that J&K’s urban unemployment rate for the 15-29 age group was recorded at 46.3 percent which was the 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.

Using the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey machinery, CMIE has pegged India’s unemployment rate at 7.87 percent which itself ascertains the fact that the erstwhile state of J&K has much higher unemployment rate than the national average. In India, with 8.67 percent UR Urban part of the country had recorded higher joblessness than Rural India where the rate stood at 7.50 percent.

The national unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of unemployed workers in the total labor force and is widely recognized as a key indicator of the performance of a country's labor market.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

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

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