Employment: The government’s failure to create employment opportunities is pushing the unemployment situation to a crisis level, the opposition party has said.

“The government must accept a total failure on this front,” said Kengkhar-Weringla MP Rinzin Jamtsho speaking at the Meet the Press programme on July 21.

The opposition party is insisting that the government must acknowledge the gravity of the current employment scenario and the impact it would have on economic, social and law and order situations. The opposition also warned of negative consequences on the nation’s wellbeing, peace and security.

The overall urban employment has increased by 92 percent and urban employment by 74 percent during the last three years. “This is highly alarming and the unemployment situation is almost at a crisis point,” said Rinzin Jamtsho.

He said the government has “failed miserably” on the employment front.

Similarly, he said female youth unemployment has increased by 43 percent, and overall female unemployment by 37 percent during the last three years of this government’s tenure. The overall youth unemployment increased by 30 percent, which the opposition members said was equally alarming.

“The future is even more worrying and nightmarish as there is no major investment offing to generate any significant number of jobs,” said Rinzin Jamtsho. The opposition members also slammed the government over the Prime Minister’s failure to outline any “concrete and convincing” employment generation programmes in his State of the Nation report.

The government had promised to create an estimated 120,000 jobs between 2013 and 2018, according to the opposition. Of this, the opposition members said, the government had pledged to employ 30,000 abroad.

If the government’s pledge is to be fulfilled, the government needs to create 24,000 jobs every year. However, Rinzin Jamtsho said only 7,031 people were employed in the last one year.

Similarly, he said only 1,439 Bhutanese have found jobs overseas.

The MP said the foreign employment programme is plagued with numerous problems. “The government’s performance on employment creation both within and outside the country has been dismal,” he added.

“This bleak scenario resulting from extremely poor performance of the government on this important matter has left the opposition party deeply worried,” he said.

The opposition called upon the government to treat the unemployment situation with the “highest of seriousness and take urgent actions” on solving the “deepening unemployment crisis”.

According to the 13th National Labour Force Survey 2015 (NLFS), the national unemployment rate was 2.5 percent in 2015.

However, the youth unemployment in 2015 was recorded at 4,503. The youth unemployment rate stands at 10.7 percent.

The female youth unemployment was 12.7 percent in 2015.

MB Subba