Even as the Naveen Patnaik-led ruling BJD has been successful in rolling out tailor-made welfare schemes for the poorer sections, the government seems to have failed in fixing the nagging problem of unemployment in the State.
The shocker for the State is, as per the data tabled in Lok Sabha today, the unemployment rate in Odisha in the year 2015-16 was only 3.8 percent. But the rate has nearly doubled to 6.2 percent in 2019-20. The timeline shows that the joblessness rate was high even before the advent of the pandemic.
The data further added that the rate of unemployment in 2016-17 was 4.7 percent. Going by the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), it then rose to 7.1 percent in 2017-18. The UR eased fractionally to 7 percent in 2018-19 and dropped to 6.2 percent in 2019-20.
PLFS 2021 Report
As per the latest PLFS report, the measured unemployment rate nationally for the quarter January to March 2021 in Odisha has been detailed below.
- The unemployment rate in the age group of 15 years and above during the quarter Jan-March 2021 had been measured at 13.7 per cent as against 11.3 percent in Jan-Mar 2020.
- Among the major states in the country, Odisha is second after Kerala in the unemployment rate, reveals the PLFS report.
- The absolute number of unemployed in Odisha during the quarter Jan-Mar 2021stood at 7.67 lakh.
Odisha Vs Neighbouring States
As per the available data, neighbouring states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have a lower unemployment rate than Odisha.
- In Chhattisgarh, the rate of unemployment in 2015-16 was 1.2 percent. The joblessness rate in 2019-20 had been 3.3 percent.
- The rate in Jharkhand was 2.2 percent in 2015-16. It spiked to 4.2 percent in 2019-20.
- In Andhra Pradesh, the rate in 2019-20 was 4.7 percent from 3.5 percent in 2015-16.
- Similarly, in West Bengal, the unemployment rate in 2019-20 had been 4.6 percent as against 3.6 percent in 2015-16.
The above data shows Chhattisgarh has the lowest unemployment rate in the neighbourhood.
Unemployment National Scenario
As per the Labour Bureau and PLFS data, the rate of unemployment nationally stood at 3.7 percent in 2015-16. The rate went up to 4.8 percent in 2019-20.
The data shows during the period of 2015-20, the unemployment rate had risen in the country. Though many states had posted a rise in joblessness, the exceptional states are given below.
- Meghalaya - 4 percent in 2015-16, Rate dropped to 2.7 percent in 2019-20.
- Jammu and Kashmir - 6.6 percent in 2015-16 and 6.7 percent in 2019-20. (The rate maintained a status quo)
- Madhya Pradesh: The rate of unemployment was 3 percent in 2015-16. Rose to 4 percent in two subsequent years and then dropped to 3 percent in 2019-20.
- Sikkim: Unemployment rate reduced to 2.2 percent in 2019-20 from 8.9 percent in 2015-16.
- Tripura: The rate dropped to 3.2 percent in 2019-20 from a high of 10 percent in 2019-20.
- Uttar Pradesh: The unemployment rate in the most populous state had fallen to 4.4 percent in 2020 from 5.8 percent in 2015-16.
In Odisha, the job engines are the services and manufacturing sectors. Both provide around 96 percent of jobs to the age group of over 15 years.
Data shows a massive 68 percent of the workforce in the State are employed in the services sector, and another 28 percent are employed in the manufacturing sector.
The economic slowdown during the period of 2017-18 had dealt a blow to job creation in the services and manufacturing sector in the State.