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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • Unemployment has been a perennial problem in Odisha. A glance at the PLFS data shows Odisha had a high unemployment rate of 15.7 percent in current weekly status (CWS- means an individual having no job at hand for even an hour in a week) in the first quarter of 2019.
  • The State has been in the top-5 states in the country having a high unemployment rate since 2017-18

The Economic Survey 2021-22 tabled in Parliament on Monday has confirmed the large scale loss of jobs and record unemployment in Odisha in 2021.

As per the Survey, when the workforce to population ratio in Odisha had shrunk to 31 percent in the first quarter of the year 2021 from 32.6 percent in the last quarter of 2019, the rate of unemployment in the State jumped to 13.7 percent in the first quarter of the year 2021 from 10.8 percent in the last quarter of 2019

Significantly, the years 2020 and 2021 had been the pandemic year in the State. While the year 2020 saw a very strict lockdown, a lenient lockdown was in place in the second wave.

Interestingly, the data of the first-quarter quoted in the Survey is the period when the State was having no lockdown. Odisha imposed lockdown in the second wave from the month of May 2021.  

Economic Survey Measures Mayhem

A look at the Survey tabled in the Parliament today reveals that the unemployment rate in Odisha during the first wave lockdown period of April -June brimmed at a massive 22.9 percent, which means more than 2 in every 10 in the age group of 15 years and above were rendered jobless in the State.

The data collected by the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) shows that the unemployment rate eased down a bit as the State economy gradually opened up. From a high of 22.9 percent unemployment rate in 2020, the rate was measured at 13.7 in the first quarter of 2021, just before the State had enforced the second wave lockdown.

Odisha's High Unemployment Saga

Unemployment has been a perennial problem in Odisha. A glance at the PLFS data shows Odisha had a high unemployment rate of 15.7 percent in current weekly status (CWS- means an individual having no job at hand for even an hour in a week) in the first quarter of 2019.

The State has been in the top-5 states in the country having a high unemployment rate since 2017-18.

Even the Economic Survey 2020-21 tabled in Odisha Assembly the State Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari had commented the following. (See the image given below).

Odisha Economic Survey Raises Concern Over High Unemployment in OdishaOdisha Economic Survey Raises Concern Over High Unemployment in Odisha

In 2021, the State had the second-highest unemployment rate in the country after Kerala, among the 19 major states.

Why High Job Loss In Odisha?

The Economic Survey 2021-22 has revealed that the services sector in Odisha had registered negative growth in the Financial Year 2020-21. (See the image below)

Since the services sector in Odisha takes a share of a high of 26.4 percent in the total employment generated in the State, the mayhem is visible when the sector went down weak at knees.

As per the data available, the following are the service sector that contributes highly to the employment creation in Odisha.

  • Trade, Repair, Hotel and Restaurants
  • Public administration (mainly Education, Health) and defence services
  • Real estate services
  •  Financial services
  • Road Transport services
  • Broadcasting services

The Bottomline

As the above job churning sectors have recorded maximum job shedding, the onus is seemingly on the State Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari to plan out a revival package for the sub-sectors in the State to address the perennial unemployment problem.

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