In rural and urban unemployment, Assam ranks 2nd in NSSO surveys
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 28: Among the major challenges staring at the new BJP-led alliance government in Assam, surely the unemployment problem is the most daunting. The BJP, during the election campaign, had promised to create employment for 25 lakh people.
As on December last year, there were 18.51 lakh people registered with various employment exchanges in the State. The number of educated unemployed was as high as 14.81 lakh.
When the Congress government headed by Tarun Gogoi had taken over reins in 2001, the number of registered unemployed in the State was 10.58 lakh.
While the erstwhile Congress government claimed to have provided jobs to several lakh youths, the problem, if one goes by the statistics, has only worsened.
It is reported that every year there is an addition of 1.5/2 lakh people in the list of unemployed in the State.
Though education levels in the recent years have increased, skill development remains a crucial issue. Moreover, poverty, limited access to skill-based education, work experience are some of the major factors that have led to rising unemployment and underemployment.
Absence of industry is also a key factor for the high unemployment rate in Assam.
The tiol Sample Survey Office (NSSO) survey carried out in 2011-12 put Assam quite high in the list of states having large numbers of unemployed.
In rural areas, Kerala had the worst record with 21.7% of its youth unemployed, followed by Assam with about 15% and Uttarakhand with about 11% youth unemployed.
In urban areas, Jammu and Kashmir had the highest proportion of unemployed young persons at 18.7%, followed by Assam and Kerala.
According to the state-wise unemployment figures revealed in the Third Annual Employment & Unemployment Survey 2012-13, while most states have approximately the same proportion of households with some members unemployed as the tiol average, some states have much higher rates. These include Jammu & Kashmir with about 48% households having unemployed persons, Bihar (35%), Assam (38%), West Bengal (54%), Jharkhand (42%), Odisha (39%) and Kerala (42%).
The previous Congress government has boasted of having created lakhs of self-help groups in the State to generate employment. But most of the SHGs have remained unviable due to lack of market linkages and technical know-how.