By Zaid Bin Shabir | Kashmir Observer

Srinagar- Even as there was a substantial increase in the unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir in the month of August, the joblessness rate has come down by over 10 percent in October, as per Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

CMIE, which conducts its own employment survey, showed that the increase in the unemployment rate in October is on account of sharp increase in rural unemployment which rose from 5.84 per cent in September to 8.04 in October, whereas the urban unemployment rate fell slightly from 7.7 to 7.21 per cent.

According to the CMIE data, even though J&K’s unemployment rate was higher than the national average, it still saw a decline in October as the rate came down to 22.4 percent compared to the previous month’s 23.2 percent. The latest UR for the month of October has brought some respite among the youth in the valley.

As per reports, J&K’s higher than national average joblessness rate is primarily because of the slower economic growth resulting in fewer job opportunities and also due to a much lower resilience to absorb the pandemic shock. In August, J&K’s Unemployment rate had soared up to a six year high when it touched 32.8 percent. Amid the unrest of 2016, J&K’s unemployment rate stood at 25.3 percent in September, 26.3 percent in October and 29.9 percent in November.

Among the 25 states for which data is available with the CMIE, six states registered the unemployment rate in double digits. Haryana registered the highest unemployment rate of 31.8 per cent followed by Rajasthan (30.7 percent), Jammu & Kashmir (22.4 percent), Jharkhand (16.5 percent), Bihar (14.5 percent ) and Tripura (10.5 percent).

Madhya Pradesh recorded the lowest unemployment rate at 0.8 percent by displacing Chhattisgarh (0.9 per cent) from the spot.

As per the data available, unemployment figures in J&K have sporadically changed since the start of 2022, showing an astronomical rise since last year.

As per CMIE, since the start of this year, there has been an increase of over 11 percent in the unemployment rate. In the month of January, the data notes, J&K’s joblessness rate stood at 15 percent. Though in the month of February it dipped down to 13.2 percent but in March the rate took an ugly turn and jumped to a grueling 25 percent. However, the rate came down in the following months till July.

Pertinently, a superficial look at the month of march, when J&K was standing at an unemployment rate of 25%, had brought into forth that roughly over 1.1 million people were jobless in J&K.

Another credible labor survey report which substantiates the chronic unemployment scenario in the region was published by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The urban unemployment since the highly infective second Covid wave in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, remained at very high levels, as per the periodic labor force survey (PLFS) data.

However, as per the administration, unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir has remained a big concern for the past 70 years and in the absence of a private sector, people used to do anything to get a prestigious government job as it was considered a guarantee for a secure future.

For the first time in history of J-K, recruitments have been done on merit basis, in a transparent manner which is a living example of how corruption-free, transparent and just system contributes to the progress of the marginalized class and wherever wrongdoings were alleged, investigation was launched by credible and top law enforcement agencies, the administration said.

Even J&K’s Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, last year, had said his focus is on providing job opportunities to 80 percent of the young population within the next five years.

Meanwhile, as per CMIE, India’s national average was recorded at 7.6 percent.


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