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Unemployment rate crosses 11 % in J&K: Companies start issuing pink slips to highly skilled youth

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Srinagar: Bilal Ahmad, 28, was in seventh heaven when he received three job offers in February. Having spent almost a year at home, he declined all the offers and chose to return to a renowned hotel in Bangalore where he worked for the last two years.

However, his happiness was short-lived as the second COVID-19 wave swept India sending the hospitality sector into a tailspin.  Dejected, Bilal had to pack his bags and return home only after spending a month in Bangalore.

 

“The situation is worse than last year. We don’t see any hope of life returning to normal for the next three months at least. Whatever we earned for a month was spent on airfare and food,” he said.

Bilal is not an isolated case. Thousands of the youth have been rendered jobless since the second COVID-19 wave swept India.

The unemployment rate of Jammu and Kashmir has swelled to 11.4 percent, in April, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). It is three percent more than the national average.

At 11.4 percent Jammu and Kashmir currently features among the bottom 10 states with the higher unemployment rate. Haryana tops the list with 35.1 percent followed by Rajasthan (28%), Delhi (27.3%), Goa (25.7%), Tripura (17.3%), Jharkhand (16.5%), Bihar (11.5%), and Jammu and Kashmir (11.4%).

At 0.2 percent, Assam has reported the lowest unemployment rate followed by Meghalaya (1.4%) and Madhya Pradesh (1.4%). 

The unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir was 14. 2 percent in February. At that time, the national average had settled at 6.9 percent. The unemployment rate is calculated by CMIE using Consumer Pyramids Household Survey machinery.

 “The COVID-19 has again hit the economy badly. Business and entrepreneurship are at the receiving end. Currently, many states have enforced lockdown due to which the unemployment rate has grown substantially,” said a top official. 

Officials said 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. “The unemployed youth include some scholars who have completed M.Phil or Ph.D.,” the official said.

He said the government is planning to invite corporate houses to invest in Jammu and Kashmir. “Multiple District Youth Centers (DYCs) will be set up in Jammu and Kashmir to help unemployed youth,” the official said.