Employment: Although the government has achieved an overall full employment of 97.5 percent going by the definition of the International Labour Organisation, youth (15-24 years) unemployment is still on the rise.

According to the 13th National Labour Force Survey 2015 (NLFS), the national unemployment rate has decreased by 0.1 percent from 2.6 percent in 2014 to 2.5 percent in 2015. Around 4,724 persons were employed last year compared to 3,699 in 2014.

However, the youth unemployment figure was recorded at 4,503, which is 1.3 percent higher than what was recorded in 2014.

The youth unemployment rate stands at 10.7 percent.

Unemployment among male youth saw a slight decrease of 0.4 percent from 8.6 percent in 2014 to 8.2 percent in 2015. While for female youth, unemployment soared by 2.7 percent from 10 percent in 2014 to 12.7 percent in 2015.

Labour minister Nyeema Sangay Tshenpo said that the ministry is considering all possible measures to address growing youth unemployment especially among female groups.

“Rising female youth unemployment is a big concern for the ministry. To address the issue, we have put in place several measures and programmes under the guaranteed employment programme,” said the minister.

Lyonpo Nyeema Sangay Tshenpo said that one of the main reasons for increasing female unemployment in the country is because of the difference in the level of qualification between males and females.

“Most of the unemployed female are with education qualification of class X and XII,” said the minster. “It is also because of the fact that the female population is higher than male and compared to male, the female enrollment into schools are also higher.”

He added that employment schemes provided by the ministry such as the Overseas Employment Programme (OEP) and the Direct Employment Scheme have become popular. “The OEP employs around 70 percent of female overseas,” said the minster. “The Overseas programme is not as bad as portrayed in the mainstream and social media.”

The minister added that jobs will be created inline with the economic stability of the country. He said that the economic condition of the country is not yet strong to generate employment for all the jobseekers and that is why the overseas programme was started as an interim measure.

According to the survey, the GDP of the country was recorded at 5.46 percent in 2015, an increase of 3.32 percent from what was recorded in 2014. Officials said that the growth in GDP fostered the economy to generate more employment.

Of the total population of 764,667 in 2015, 352,953 formed the labour force. The labour force participation rate (LFPR) was recorded at 63.1 percent, an increase by 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