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Odisha tops country in youth unemployment rate during Jan-Mar 2019: NSO

The youth unemployment rate in Odisha is abnormally high at 33.8 per cent. The State's overall (age-group of 15 years and above) joblessness rate of 15.7 per cent is also highest in country. 3 in every 10 youths have no jobs

Bhubaneswar: For Odisha, it’s a shocking revelation. The State topped the country in unemployment rate in the last quarter of the fiscal year 2018-19.

The male youth (15-29 years age group) unemployment rate in the State is abnormally high.

The big numbers of three in every 10 youths failing to get a job, even after frantic search, sum up how acute is the Odisha joblessness scenario. And the big worry here is the joblessness rate in the State has grown over the period in the fiscal year 2018-19.

For the policy makers and the powers that be in the State, the recently released quarterly bulletin by NSO (National Statistical Office) titled Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) is a sort of nightmare. A rethink in the employment generation policies seems imminent, given the high unemployment rate, especially among males, in the State worsening over the period in 2018-19.

Sample this. As per the PLFS 2019 report, the unemployment rate according to Current Weekly Status (CWS), which means a person failing to get  work even for one-hour during the last 7 days prior to the survey period, for the quarter January – March 2019 among males in age-group of 15-29 years in Odisha stood at a national high of 32 per cent.

The unemployment rate for the females in the age-group of 15-29 years in State during the aforesaid period stood higher at 39.2 per cent.

And the overall (male + female) joblessness rate in the age-group 15-29 years in the State during the last quarter (Jan – Mar) of the fiscal year 2018-19 has been estimated at a high of 33.8 per cent, which is almost at par with the rate of 34 per cent in the strife-torn J&K. Kerala is only ahead of Odisha with a rate of 37.2 per cent.

The disconcerting trend is the unemployment rate keeps ticking unusually high during the year 2018-19.

Consider this. The male unemployment rate in the 15-29 years age-group in the State in the quarter (Apr-Jun 2018) of the fiscal year 2018-19 had been 19.4 per cent. The rate increased to 29.6 per cent in second quarter (July-Sept 2018) and in the third quarter (Oct-Dec 2018) the rate touched 31.6 per cent.

In the case of females in age-group of 15-29 years, the joblessness rate in the aforesaid quarters had been higher at 41.3 per cent, 46.1 per cent, 47.7 per cent and 39.2 per cent, respectively.

The overall unemployment rate in the 15-29 years age-group during the four quarters of 2018-19 has, thus, been pegged at 24.3 per cent, 33.4 per cent, 35.7 per cent and 33.8 per cent, respectively.  

An overall unemployment rate of 33.8 per cent in the age-group shows how devastating is the joblessness scenario in Odisha.

Whichever way one analyses the data, the unemployment rate in Odisha is highest in the country in the fiscal year 2018-19.

The NSO report estimated the unemployment rate in the age-group of 15 years and above in the State for the quarter of Jan- March 2019 at a national high of 15.7 per cent.

The joblessness rate seems to have deteriorated in the State as data suggests the unemployment rate at 10 per cent in the quarter of Apr- June 2018.

The nation highest unemployment in the State seems a shocker as the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in Odisha is lower than the national average.

The LFPR  of males in the age-group of 15-29 years in Odisha is measured at 55.7 per cent in the quarter Jan-March 2019 vis-a-vis the national average rate of 57.9 per cent.

The significant mention here is the LFPR of males in age-group 15 years and above in the State is higher at 58.4 per cent compared to national average of 56.2.

This important fact highlights further how acute is the unemployment in 15-29 years age-group in Odisha.

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