Employment: The economically inactive population of the country stands at 206,007, which is 36.9 percent of the country’s total working age population (15 years and above) according to the Labour Force Survey 2015.

According to the survey, the economically inactive population is that section of the population which is neither employed nor unemployed. This group includes students who are currently studying, people looking after family, the physically challenged and those with long-term illnesses.

Of the total economically inactive population, 98,547 (47.8 percent) were engaged in studies followed by 51,310 who were engaged in household and family duties.

Individuals aged 15-24 constituted the highest number (99,694) of the economically inactive population. The majority in this group are engaged in studying.

Of the 51,310 people engaged in household and family duties, 48,125 comprised of female, of which the highest was observed in the 25-29 age group, which is considered a prime working group.

Compared to male, female were seen to have a higher rate of education level. At least 21,795 female were found to have a minimum qualification of middle secondary school as to 14,521 male with the same level of qualification.

However, female with a higher level of qualification abstained from engaging in economic activities. A total of 129,867 female were economically inactive in 2015 compared to 76,140 male.

The survey also found out that 36,598 people were economically inactive because of old age. The group included people aged 60 years and above. The majority of the people in the group (6,296) were economically inactive because of household and family duties. A total of 2,903 were inactive due to a physical inability followed by illness that made up 1,405.

For 201 people aged 65 and above, studying was found to be the reason for their inactivity. Labour officials said that this group of people were those who were involved in religious studies.

Other reasons for the large economically inactive population included – waiting for recall from previous job (a former employee waiting to be re-employed in the same company), waiting for results (mostly for students), long-term illness and being physically challenged.

The survey estimated the population of the country in 2015 at 764,667. Of the total population, 352,953 formed the labour force. The labour force participation rate (LFPR) was recorded at 63.1 percent, an increase of 4,211 from 2014. The LFPR for male was recorded at 71.2 percent and for female the rate stood at 55.9 percent.

Younten Tshedup