Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: High sort of despondency seems to be ruling in the job market in Odisha. Since 2018, almost all of the 40 employment exchanges in the State have been recording a sharp fall in registrations by job-seeking youths.

Such a grim home-truth popped up today when the Odisha Skill Development and Technical Education minister Premanand Nayak replying to a question informed the House that a massive 22.52 lakh youths have not gone for renewal of their registrations in the State employment exchanges.

Consider the 'reverse migration' in State employment exchanges.

2010:  The number of youths in the live register of all the employment exchanges in the State totalled 8.63 lakh.

2017: The live register had a registration totalling 10.08 lakh

2020: The live register at the end of the year stood at 8.83 lakh

Explaining the reasons behind the free fall in the State live register position, Minister Nayak said the dip in total registrations in the 40 employment exchanges in the State has been due to varied reasons- from enrollers getting jobs elsewhere to other miscellaneous factors, including non-renewal of their status every year.


Significantly, a recent report by a leading private economic think tank Centre For Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE) in its quarterly data for the period September to December 2020 has observed a massive 5.59 lakh unemployed in Odisha are willing to take up a job but have become inactive in seeking jobs.

Simply put, owing to a crunch of employment opportunities in the job market in Odisha, such a huge proportion of the unemployed populace in the State have lost hope in searching for jobs.


The hopelessness is so because the unemployed in the State who are willing to take up a job but not in the race of searching one belong to the age-group of 20-29 years. The numbers in the age-group of 20-24 years have been estimated by CMIE at a massive 4.5 lakh.

A look at the educational qualification also reveals that such hopelessness is high in the unemployed having qualification of graduate or above. Terming it as a greater unemployment rate, CMIE puts it at a whopping 25.88 per cent in Odisha.


As per the data available with the employment exchanges of the State, the placement in 2010 had been around 0.04 per cent. The rate dropped to 0.02 per cent in 2017. And as per the State Minister's statement, nearly 22k had been given placement from total registered youths of nearly 31.6 lakh in 2020. The placement proportion has, thus, been dropped to around 0.006 per cent in 2020.

The data then clearly shows a consistent fall in the proportion of placement to registered (candidates) in the State employment exchanges. And employment watchers see this as the prime reason behind youths not going for renewal in the live register of job exchanges.