Two different reports on unemployment in the nation have confirmed that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is going through a high unemployment phase.
The latest data is of the September month. India had a national average of 6.67% unemployment rate. J&K performed fourth worst in the nation. J&K had a 16.2% unemployment rate in the month of September which is only better than Uttarakhand (22.3%), Haryana (19.7%) and Tripura (17.4%).
CMIE uses its Consumer Pyramids Household Survey machinery to calculate unemployment rates. Periodic labour force survey of urban areas for July-September 2019 states that the UT of Jammu and Kashmir was among six states/UT that saw rising joblessness in cities in July-September 2019 quarter. Other states in the list are Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
If we put aside these official sources, still there are enough sources to make a point that J&K is having a severe unemployment problem. The Directorate of Employment carried out employment registration last year. Around 3 lakh post graduates and PhD degree holders registered for it in J&K. Jammu and Kashmir service selection board advertised for 8,000 Class IV posts and it registered 5.4 lakh applications.
In its preliminary report, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries said that five lakh job losses were recorded after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. These job losses were accentuated by lockdown in the pandemic.
A senior official said that the problem in Kashmir magnifies due to the fact that J&K has a weaker private sector. In the absence of a proper private sector, the only source of employment for the people remains government jobs which are insufficient for such a large population.
Tourism was also a good source of jobs for the people but in the past two years, it has been very dull. Muhammad Yaseen Khan, Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance, said that the lack of jobs is one of the main problems of the UT. He added that many unfortunate things have happened to us in the recent past, as a result of which in place of job creations we are now experiencing job losses.
Last month, the Administrative Council allocated Rs 1350 crore for recovery of the business sector in the region.