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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • Since the labour force participation rate among females in the State is very low, a look at the job losses among the male youths had put the count higher at 8 lakh. From a high of 44 per cent youth workforce in the State in 2019, the number shrunk to a mere 36.8 percent by 2020 end.

Massive job losses in Odisha in the year 2020 is official now. A high of around 8 lakh male employees/workers in the youth age-group had lost their jobs in the State last year. At the beginning of 2021, nearly 37 lakh in the youth age group have no jobs at hand.  

The prevalence of such a hopeless scenario in Odisha's job market has been revealed by the Periodic Labour Force Survey Report (Oct-Dec) 2020 that was released recently. The report has only picturised the unemployment and job losses in the urban areas of the country.

As per the PLFS 2021 report, with an unemployment rate of 31.4 percent in the current weekly status (CWS), Odisha had the fourth-highest youth unemployment rate in the country, excluding J and K.

A glance at the employment and unemployment situation of the youths (15-29 yrs) in Odisha during the pandemic hit 2020, however, drops many a bombshell.

High Job Loss

The data released by the PLFS 2021 report shows that during the last year, while the overall job loss had been over 4 per cent, the loss is acute for male youths - a high of 7 per cent drop had been recorded in male youth worker population.

At the end of 2019, 33 lakh (28.8%) in the youth age group were employed, however, at the end of 2020, only 27.9 lakh remained in the State's workforce. The above data reveals an overall job loss to the tune of 5 lakh.

Since the labour force participation rate among females in the State is very low, a look at the job losses among the male youths had put the count higher at 8 lakh. From a high of 44 per cent youth workforce in the State in 2019, the number shrunk to a mere 36.8 percent by 2020 end.

Joblessness In Odisha

Data shows the youth unemployment rate in the State had been on the rise.  The joblessness rate in the age group of 15-29 years was 22.8 per cent in 2018. And the unemployment rate at the end of the year 2019 (December 2019) was 28.3 per cent.

Under the pandemic shadow, the unemployment rate at the yearend (December) last year (2020) had jumped to a high of 31.4 percent.  Nearly 3 in every 10 youths are unemployed in Odisha at the beginning of the year 2021.   

When the male youth joblessness rate was estimated at 32.8 per cent, it's 26 percent for female youths in the State.  

Odisha In Country's Unemployment Map

Kerala, which had the country's highest unemployment rate in 2019, saw the rate clocking a rise of 7 percent. In Kerala, a massive 43 percent of the youth population has no gainful employment.

Gujarat has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The rate was a mere 7.2 percent in 2019, and the same had been estimated at 8.8 percent in 2020.

As per the PLFS 2021 data, except Delhi, all the worst-hit Covid-19 states had recorded a rise in the unemployment rate.  

Job losses In Country

The PLFS report reveals that when Bihar and Madhya Pradesh had reported a rise in their male workforce population ratio; states like Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have maintained the 2019 ratio.

A total of 50.1 percent of the male youth population in TN had jobs at their hand in 2019, the tally at end of 2020 stood at 50.

Similarly in UP, the ratio was 44.5 percent in 2019 and 44.3 percent in 2020.

In contrast, the ratio for Odisha was 44.1 percent in 2019, which dropped to 36.8 percent in 2020.

The Bottomline

As the urban employment and overall unemployment situation in Odisha had been very bleak at the beginning of the year 2021, the job sector got a double whammy - the second wave lockdown. The unlock phase kick-started in the whole of the State only from September 1.

Moreover, the job loss data shows heavy shedding in the tertiary sector (wholesale trade, automobile service/sales, education, water supply, real estate, tourism, education, media and entertainment, financial services and insurance etc), which is followed by losses in the manufacturing sector.

In the given backdrop, it is very challenging for the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government to at least restore the 2019 workforce population ratio. The situation demands a booster dose for the ailing sectors.

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