SRINAGAR: The newly created Jammu and Kashmir UT is currently witnessing high rate of unemployment as millions of educated youth are in a trauma-like situation due to shrinking of Government as well as private employment sectors. As per figures issued by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), J&K has 21.6 per cent unemployment rate, which is the worst among all States/ Union Territories in India.The unemployment rates are calculated by CMIE using Consumer Pyramids Household Survey machinery. CMIE has pegged India’s overall unemployment rate at 6.9 per cent which means J&K has much higher unemployment rate than the national average. According to CMIE data, the unemployment rate in J&K has jumped from over 13 per cent in August 2021 to 21.6 percent in September 2021. As per official data, J&K is the only region in country with over 20 per cent unemployment rate. Other States, following J&K in terms of highest unemployment rate are Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Tripura where unemployment rate is above 15 per cent.Besides these official figures, there are other data sources which indicate severity of unemployment in J&K. When Government scrapped Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir on August 5 2019, one of its promises was providing 50,000 Government jobs to J&K youth within three months. More than two years have passed but employment figures are not satisfactory in J&K as only 8 per cent of promised 50,000 jobs have been filled. According to media reports, only 4,300 jobs have been filled in a year. Few months back, J&K Service Selection Board’s advertisement for 8,000 class-IV posts witnessed a whopping 5.4 lakh application. “Problem in Kashmir is further compounded by fact that private sector in the region is yet to realise its full potential. The main source of employment here is only Government sector which is over stretched to the extent that around 1 lakh youth are working as daily-rated workers in various Government departments and seeking regularization,” said officials, adding that, “For past two years, tourism sector in J&K too is dull due to COVID-19 and other reasons.”According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), the combined unemployment rate of J&K and Ladakh hit the highest 17.8 per cent in October-December of 2020, against national average of 7.11 percent. The government departments remained the highest employers in UT in absence of a flourishing industrial as well as corporate sector.However, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has said that there is expectation regarding creation of five lakh jobs, as UT is all set to receive Rs 25,000-30,000 cr of private investments. In Feb 2021, LG Manoj Sinha also cleared that administration is very concerned about current unemployment data in Jammu and Kashmir and focusing on providing job opportunities to 80 per cent of young population within next five years.
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