Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said in the National Assembly yesterday that there were enough jobs to employ all the unemployed individuals in the country today.

Kengkhar-Weringla MP, Rinzin Jamtsho, asked the prime minister about the government’s pledge to provide jobs and stipend to the unemployed. He expressed concerns regarding the youth unemployment rate in urban areas, which is at 23 percent.

Prime minister said: “I cannot promise that someone will find a job tomorrow if she or he starts looking for one today. But if there are people unemployed for about a month or for years, I can say that we can provide job to all of them.”

According to the Labour Force Survey Report 2016, the unemployment rate in the country is 2.1. The youth unemployment rate stands at 13.2 percent.

Prime minister said that according to Bhutan Living Standards Survey Report, the youth unemployment rate was 11 percent. “And if we see the Population and Housing Census of Bhutan, youth unemployment rate is 10.6 percent, and the unemployment rate is 2.4 percent.”

He said that there were about 7,400 jobs available in the country in addition to 1,345 from direct employment scheme under the labour ministry, 1,835 for overseas employment opportunities, and about 3,800 job opportunities from the last job fair conducted in the country.

“Some want to join civil service, which is limited. That is why the government created over 5,500 jobs through corporations, under which we still have about 485 vacancies,” prime minister said, adding that unemployment issue is either because the youth are unaware of the opportunities or they are not interested in the vacancies available.

By way of example, prime minister said that 34 vacancies were announced for assistant research officer at the National Assembly. Of 70 applicants, only 48 turned up for the interview. “Of 34 who were employed, seven has resigned. This means there are other opportunities available.”

Prime Minister said that within a span of five years, the government spent Nu 1.2 billion and benefited about 27,000 individuals. “This money was spent on creating and starting a job. It was spent as salary and allowance.”

Phurpa Lhamo