Unemployment among the youth age group in Odisha seems quite acute. The latest CMIE quarterly report gives another string to the joblessness bow in the State.
While 2.08 lakh job losses have been recorded in Odisha during the period Jan - Aug 2021, the count of unemployed in the State had risen by a whopping 1.75 lakh. When the rise in the number of unemployed from December 2020 is considered, the number of unemployed in the State had grown by a whopping 2.74 lakh.
Job Loss In Odisha
In a significant revelation, confirming the recent NSSO report, the CMIE latest quarterly report (May - Aug 2021) drops the bombshell of high job loss in the State during the current year.
As per the report, when around 29.35 lakh in the age group of 15-29 years have a job at their hands during the first quarter of 2021 (Jan- Apr), the count had shrunk to 27.45 lakh during the second quarter (May -Aug 2021). The net job loss in the State has been estimated at around 2.08 lakh.
Pounding The Pavements?
As per the latest quarterly report of the country's top private economy think tank, the youth challenge for Odisha seems very high. The unemployment rate in the youth job seekers (15-29 years) age group is astronomically high.
During the first quarter of the year, Jan - Apr 2021, the unemployment rate in the age group of 15-19 years had been astronomically high at 35.46 percent. The joblessness rate in the age group of 20-24 years stood at 14.91 percent, whereas the rate in the age group of 25-29 years had been 3.5 percent.
The unemployment rate in May -Aug 2021in the age group of 15-19 years had been 16.81 percent and at 12.26 percent in 20-24 years age group. The joblessness rate in the 25-29 years age group stood at 5.17 percent.
The report puts the total unemployed in the State at the quarter ending on Aug 31, 2021 at 4.9 lakh vis-a-vis 3.14 lakh at the end of Apr 2021 and 2.16 lakh at the end of Dec 2020.
The above numbers reveal that during the last 8-months, the number of jobless persons in the State had risen by 2.74 lakh.
Hopelessness On The Rise?
The CMIE quarterly report (May - Aug 2021) reveals very big. The despondency among youths in getting a job in Odisha has been measured by CMIE in the indicator of Greater Unemployment Rate (GUR). As per CMIE, the GUR is about youths who are unemployed and need a job but are not active job-seekers.
The significant revelation here is, the GUR in the quarter May - Aug 2021 had been estimated at 38.20 percent in the 15-29 years age group and 32.27 percent in the 20-24 years age group in Odisha.
The corresponding figures at the end of Dec 2020 were 44.47 percent in the 15-19 years age group, 29.56 percent in the 20-24 years age group.
During the first quarter of 2021 (Jan- Apr), the GUR in the age group of 15-19 years was estimated at a high of 56.99 percent. It was at 33.93 percent in the age group of 20-24 years.
It needs mentioning here that Odisha had enforced Covid-19 lockdown from May 2021. The high unemployment rate and GUR in the pre-lockdown phase in 2021 is, therefore, eye-popping.
MGNREGA Becomes Saviour?
The CMIE unemployment report shows that the acute unemployment among youth eased a bit during the May - Aug 2021 quarter, when the lockdown was in force across the State till July.
When seen along with the MGNREGA figures, it has been observed that the man-days created under the employment guarantee scheme had posted a rise in the State during the same period.
CMIE Vs NSSO Methodology
Claiming that it calculates the rate of unemployment in the country very scientifically, CMIE says that it captures the data electronically and transmits it as soon as an interview is completed. It further added that the sample households are surveyed for over a four-month period to draw the rate of unemployment in the country. This shows the sampling is done electronically by the organisation, not a physical survey.
As per the NSSO, the country's ace statistical institute, it conducts the labour force survey in the country through field visits. The NSSO team visits the sample villages, blocks and towns to estimate the rate of unemployment in the country. NSSO also collects data every three months to estimate the rate of unemployment.
The Bottom Line
Since both NSSO and CMIE reports have hinted at the prevalence of acute unemployment among the youth population in the State, the task is clearly cut out for the Odisha government to go for a new job policy prescription.