Employment at J&K falls to lowest level in five years

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Srinagar- New figures reveal that Jammu and Kashmir’s unemployment rate for March this year was the worst in five years.

According to available data, the unemployment rate (UR) at J&K reached a new record with 25% unemployment in the first quarter of 2022. The latest UR has increased astronomically since last year and reached its worst value in 2022 , compared to the last five years.

Relevantly, the unemployment rate appears to be heading towards poverty at J&K despite repeated assurances from Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman of a drop in the unemployment rate at J&K.

The CMIE, a private economic think tank in India, in its latest monthly report for the month of April 2022, estimated J&K’s unemployment rate at 25%, which according to CMIE data is the highest since 2016, when the unemployment rate was recorded at its worst – 29.9%.

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

According to CMIE, since the beginning of this year, there has been an 11.8% increase in the unemployment rate. In January, according to the data notes, J&K’s UR stood at 15%. Although in the month of February it fell to 13.2%, but in March the rate took an ugly turn and jumped to 25%.

However, the data came at a time when J&K’s impassioned administration had said employment in the once state would gradually increase. “Private investment in J&K would increase to Rs 70,000 crore to boost employment and a peaceful environment in the region.” J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said.

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

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

A report titled “Periodic Labor Force Survey April-June 2021” released by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation shows that the urban unemployment rate rose to 12.6% in April-June 2021, compared to 9.3% in the previous quarter.

Using the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey machinery, CMIE pegged India’s unemployment rate at 7.87%, which itself confirms the fact that the former J&K state has a much higher unemployment rate. higher than the national average. In India, with 8.67% UR, the urban part of the country recorded a higher unemployment rate than rural India, where the rate stood at 7.50%.

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

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is special envoy to the Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir