April 21, 2024 6:03 pm

Unemployment data: Punjab better than national average; in Haryana, every third person is jobless

Of every 100 persons in Punjab, only seven are unemployed. This was revealed in the unemployment data released by the Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy Private Limited (CMIE). With an unemployment rate of 6.8 per cent, Punjab has fared better than the national average of unemployment, which is 8.6 per cent.

According to the data, the state is much better placed than neighbouring Haryana having an unemployment rate of 37.4 per cent. Himachal Pradesh is also at 7.6 per cent, 0.8 per cent more than Punjab.

While the economists of the state have looked at the data with suspicion, government sources said the government was working to provide jobs to the youths especially the labour department as well as the employment generation department.

The state has set up District Bureaus of Employment and Training and has been imparting skill training to the youth. Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s government had stated Ghar Ghar rozgar scheme under which Rozgar Melas were held and the youth were given placement options.

Economists, however, do not agree with the data. Dr Lakhwinder Singh Gill, Prof of Economics, Punjabi University, Patiala said that it is difficult to draw long term conclusion from the quarterly data, “Relatively, the rate of unemployment is not only high but very high in Punjab if you look at the situation especially in last 10 years. The unemployment rates are much higher if you look at the number of youths going abroad in search of jobs, filing applications with various embassies, and preparing for IELTS. It clearly shows the younger generation is disheartened.”

He said that things have come to such a pass that the Punjabi youths are so disillusioned with the whole system that they do not report unemployment that they do not get registered with the employment exchanges. Also, they are not interested in employment in Punjab considering the current employment conditions. In the government services, they are given a minimum basic salary, which is peanuts. Private sector also gives low wages as compared to the government. Both the quantity and quality of employment is bad. I can say almost 80 per cent people are not satisfied. That is why they do not record unemployment.

Another noted economist, Dr SS Johl said, “I do not know how they take the data out. An independent inquiry should done, exchanges should be checked to know how many have registered with these bodies. This too would also not be a complete data but just indicative. It would be a sample survey.”

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