This and their preference for desk jobs is what’s causing the female unemployment rate from dropping

Labour: Lower level of education and their preference for desk jobs in one place were found to be the main reasons behind higher unemployment rate among females, labour officials said.

Of the 9,173 unemployed individuals in the country last year, more than half, at 5,546 were females according to the Labour Force Survey Report (LFSR) 2014.

The unemployment situation in the country has observed a similar trend over the years where the rate of female unemployment has always exceeded the rate of male unemployment. In 2010, of the 11,000 unemployed, 6,400 were female, according to the report.

In 2011, there were 7,300 unemployed females against 3,200 unemployed male. The trend continued in 2012 where 3,782 females were unemployed compared to 3,122 males. In 2013, there were 5,901 unemployed females to 4,015 males while last year, the female unemployment figure stood at 5,546 to 3,627 males.

Labour ministry’s chief statistical officer Ugyen Tenzin said the lower rate of employment observed among the females can be attributed to two main reasons. “The level of education among the female job seekers is comparatively lower than that in the male category,” he said.

In 2014, of the 21,560 employed with higher secondary school qualification, 8,848 were female as compared to 12,713 males. A total of 5,189 female bachelor’s degree holders were employed last year, which is less than half of the employed 11,659 male degree holders.


Of the 5,546 total female jobseekers last year, 1,824 of them had a minimum qualification of higher secondary school while 1,306 were university graduates.

The flexible nature of jobs where individuals need to be mobile and on constant move was preferred less by female job seekers. “Individual choices of employment where they prefer to stay in a single place and work were found to be more common among females,” Ugyen Tenzin said. “Most female job seekers opt for desk jobs where they don’t have to be on constant move.”

In 2014, of the 38,963 employed in public administration and defense sectors in the country, only 7,637 were female. However, the highest female employment rate was seen in the agriculture and forestry sector with 101,425 females against 90,944 males.

Meanwhile, the female unemployment rate saw a drastic drop in 2011-2012 when the figure plunged from 7,300 to 3,122 in 2012. Ugyen Tenzin attributed the decrease to several ‘female-oriented’ trainings initiated during the year in the field of tourism and hospitality.

The overseas employment initiative of the ministry to reduce unemployment issues in the country has also seen good numbers of female employed outside the country. The recent batch of the overseas employment to the Middle East countries in the field of sales associates saw 80 percent of recruitment for females.

According to the survey, Thimphu has the highest number of unemployed individuals at 3,818, which includes 2,278 females. Chukha has the highest level of employment rate at 30,616 people employed including 10,285 females.

The current labour force in the country as of 2014 is 348,742 of which 339,569 individuals were employed.

Younten Tshedup 


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