Although the overall unemployment rate has decreased in all the dzongkhags, Thimphu’s increased from 5.4 percent in 2005 to six percent. This is according to the recent Population and Housing Census of Bhutan (PHCB) 2017.

Chhukha closely follows Thimphu with 2.7 percent. The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in Gasa (0.7 percent).

According to PHCB, unemployment rate increases with increasing levels of education.

Although the overall unemployment rate has decreased from 3.1 percent in 2005 to 2.4 percent in 2017, unemployment among youth (15-24) is at 10.6 percent.

Slow increase in unemployment rate from lower towards higher levels of education is observed for both male and female, especially in urban areas.

“There is no significant difference in unemployment rates among people with secondary schooling and above secondary schooling levels,” said PHCB.

The census recorded 5,371 youth as unemployed. In 2005, PHCB recorded 7,865 unemployed persons.

Female unemployment, which is at 2.9 percent, is found to be higher than male unemployment at 2.1 percent. The report also revealed that there are more female unpaid workers (6.6 percent) with more difference in rural areas.

Unemployment is largely an urban phenomenon. “The unemployment rate in urban area is more than three times at 4.6 percent with that of in rural areas with 1.3 percent.”

The country’s Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is 63.3 percent. A total of about 3,000 graduates are expected to enter the labour market annually in the 12th Plan from in-country tertiary institutes.

Agriculture sector employs the largest population at 43.9 percent, followed by construction sector at 11 percent and 10.8 percent in public administration. In twelve years, the number of people employed by agriculture sector has increased by 37,074 persons in 2017.

Of 537,728 persons in the working-age group accounting for about 74 percent of the country’s total population, 284,580 are males and 253,148 females. About 197,492 people are economically inactive accounting for about 36.7 percent. The majority 120,965 persons are female. The remaining 26 percent is below 15 years of age.

Excluding non-Bhutanese, the labour force or economically active population stands at 301,877 persons of which, 172,698 are male and 129, 179 female.

Economically active population includes both employed and unemployed population.

The country employs 235,851 non-Bhutanese labour forces. About 11.4 percent of the labour force resides in Thimphu.

Rinchen Zangmo