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Fallout of back-to-back lockdowns: J&K has fourth highest unemployment rate in India


Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has earned a dubious distinction by becoming the fourth state and union territory with the highest unemployment rate in the country.

According to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir climbed to 16.2 percent in September from 5.2 percent in May this year.


The figure is much higher than the national average, which stood at 7.1 percent in September.

Jammu and Kashmir is followed by Goa and Rajasthan where the unemployment rate in the month of September has crossed 15 percent.

Uttarakhand has the highest unemployment rate of 22.3 percent in India.

It is followed by Haryana and Tripura, where the unemployment rate has been recorded 19.7 and 17.4 percent respectively.

Assam has recorded the lowest unemployment rate of 1.2 percent in the month of September.

After the abrogation of article 370, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed two spontaneous lockdowns, which last for more than a year and affected the job generating sectors including business severely.

This year, the complete lockdown for the five months in view of the Covid-19 further dented the economy and accumulated losses over Rs 3,000 crores monthly.

A preliminary assessment conducted by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) earlier in August has pegged the business losses at over Rs 40,000 crore, while five lakh people have lost jobs from August 5 last year to date.

Last December. KCCI released a `Preliminary Economic Loss Report’ which put the financial losses at 17800 crores in the first 120 days of lockdown post abrogation of article 370.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) said tourism and handicrafts, which are the revenue-generating sectors for Jammu and Kashmir, witnessed huge stress due to the lockdown.

“It is a matter of concern for us that majority of the employment and revenue-generating sector which included handicrafts and tourism is still not picking up steam. Even Information Technology suffered massive job losses due to which unemployment rate has increased in the valley,” said the outgoing president of KCCI Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad.

 He said the government should come up with a concrete policy to generate more jobs for the youth. “Government has to work on this and come up with such a policy that unemployed youth get desired jobs,” Ahmad said.