Monday, November 16, 2009

Unemployment numbers for Nepal

It has been reckoned that around 350,000 new work forces enter into the job market each year and around 200,000 of them are finding jobs in foreign countries. Finding jobs for fresh 150,000 youths that enter the employment market is one of the major problems…

The Labor Survey conducted last year had showed 49 percent of urban and 26.9 percent of rural population was underutilized, which means they are not getting sufficient works. It also showed that unemployment has gone up to 2.1 percent of the total population from 1.8 percent in 1998/99.

Source here

Don’t believe that there are just 0.588 million people unemployed (out of about 28 million) in Nepal. The real number is much more higher. It has to do with how we calculate unemployment rate (=percentage of total labor force who are unemployed but are actively seeking and willing to do a job). Students, military personnel, retired people, parents staying at home, prisoners, people working in places that do not report income, and discouraged workers are not included. This means a whole lot of people are not included. A lot of the people in Nepal are discouraged workers, who gave up searching for jobs, thus excluding them from the labor force (which is the sum of employed and unemployed people).

Moreover, millions of workers in the agricultural sector (such as ‘hidden’ unemployed, non-wage workers, in-kind contract workers, etc) are not counted because their status does not fit within the definition of unemployed people. There are many of them because over 70 percent of the population depend on agriculture for living. Otherwise, won’t you be surprised to hear that unemployment rate in the US is 10.2% and in Nepal it is only 2.2%!