Kerala tops in unemployment rates

47.4 per cent of women still have no job, organised sector jobs dwindle

Updated - February 12, 2016 05:34 am IST

Published - February 12, 2016 12:00 am IST

At 7.4 per cent, Kerala has the highest rate of unemployment among the big States in the country, says the Economic Review. It puts Kerala’s unemployment rate at three times the national level (2.3 per cent). Among all States, only tiny Nagaland and Tripura have a higher unemployment rate.

Unemployment rate is higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas, and feminisation of joblessness is evident with females accounting for a much higher rate of joblessness as compared to males.

The rate of unemployment among those aged between 15 and 29 is 21.7 per cent in rural areas and 18 per cent in urban areas. The situation is worse in the case of Kerala women, who log an unemployment rate of 47.4 per cent, as compared to 9.7 per cent of men.

Jobs in the organised sector are getting scarcer in Kerala. The number of those employed in the organised sector fell from 12.26 lakh in 2000 to 11.4 lakh in 2005 and then to 10.88 lakh in 2013, a reduction of 11.3 per cent over 13 years. This, the Review says, was mainly due to the fall in the number of jobs in the public sector. There was some respite in the downward trend over the past two years with the number of those employed in the organised sector rising to 11.29 per cent in 2014 and further to 11.36 lakh in 2015.

Ernakulam and Wayanad accounted for highest and lowest employment levels respectively.

The employment data also suggests that the dependence on agriculture is falling whereas dependence on the service sector is going up. Employment in agriculture fell from 7.5 per cent in 2004-05 to 5.9 per cent in 2014-15, while the relative share of employment in community, social and personal services increased from 44.7 per cent in 2004-05 and 50.43 per cent in 2014-15.

The manufacturing sector in the state accounted for only 20.4 per cent of the total employment. Self employed workers made up 37.7 per cent of the total workforce during the year. In comparison, regular/salaried employees accounted for 22.5 per cent and casual labourers comprised 39.8 per cent of the workforce.

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