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Masons to drivers: J&K workers moving to Gulf for jobs increase by 50% in three years


Srinagar: The number of skilled and unskilled workers of Jammu and Kashmir moving to the Gulf for work has increased by 50 percent in the last three years.

From masons to electricians and from drivers to cleaners, skilled labourers in large numbers have migrated to different countries in search of work


An official document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveals that three agencies are helping workers to find jobs in foreign countries.

 As per a document, a total number of 2089 workers moved to other countries mostly the Gulf in 2017 to search of a job. The following year 2704 workers left for foreign countries. In 2019, 4540 workers moved to Gulf for jobs.

Demand for skilled workers has surged in the Middle East from 2017 on wards. While in 2017, masons and carpenters were the most sought-after workers, in 2018, general laborers and technicians were in much demand. In 2019, there was a huge demand for truck drivers.

“The valley, in particular, has witnessed uncertainty for many years, which hit the poor section of the society badly. From rich to the middle class, people have preferred moving to other states or abroad for work to ensure financial stability,” an official from Labour and Employment department said.

Against the national average of 8.1 percent, the unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir as per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has surged up to 15.4 per cent.

Figures suggest that more than 95,000 youth are registered with different employment exchanges in Jammu and Kashmir. The figure includes a huge chunk of qualified youth who have passed their post-graduation.