Most Bhutanese still engaged in agriculture 

Yangchen C Rinzin 

Bhutan’s overall employment rate stands at 97.3 percent or 311,059 persons employed according to the Labour Force Survey Report 2019 released by the National Statistics Bureau.

Of the total employed, more than 50 percent are male. About 70.2 percent of the employed are in rural areas.

According to the report, an employed person is someone who worked as paid employees, own-account workers and contributing family workers. It also includes persons with a job but not at work during the reference period.

NSB surveyed in November and December 2019.

“Of the employed, the agriculture sector employs 51.1 percent, and the lowest (14%) in the industry sector,” report stated.

Going by the report, there are more women employed in the agriculture sector (61.7 percent) than men, and most of the people employed in the agriculture sector are in rural. While in urban areas, more than 70 percent work in the service and industry sector.

In the agriculture sector, Dagana (75.4%) and Samtse (73.7%) has the highest proportion of employed persons, while Thimphu (6.5%) has the lowest.

However, 46.4 percent of the employed does not have any form of education.

The employment rate over the five years has remained above 96 percent. The highest employment rate was in 2016 with 97.9 percent and the lowest in 2018 (96.6%).

The report stated that a little more than half (50.8%) of the respondents were working in “agriculture farming” followed by the “private business” (24.7%) and only 6.9 percent were working in the “civil service.”

Trashigang with 99.7 percent has the highest proportion of employed persons followed by Trashiyangtse, and the lowest is in Sarpang and Thimphu.

“Among the age groups, 60-64 has the highest proportion of employed persons and the lowest in 20-24,” the report stated.

When it comes to contributing family worker, there are more females (41.8%) participating in family work in agriculture than males. The contributing family worker is a household member who is engaged in the family business or farming activity without any payment.

On the contrary, there are more males (36.5%) as regular paid employees.

The report stated that the overall mean monthly income is Nu 17,449, and median monthly earning is Nu 13,000.

Thimphu has the highest mean monthly income with Nu 23,011 while Dagana has the lowest with Nu 10,142.

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