KATHMANDU, April 27: Nearly one million people, or 11.4 percent, out of the total working age population in Nepal are unemployed, according to a finding of the ‘Nepal Labour Force Survey (NLFRS) III’ carried out by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The third round of the survey carried out in 2017/18 after an interval of nine years found that 7.1 million out of the 20.7 million people of the working age were employed, while 908,000 people were unemployed at the time of the survey.
While ‘people in employment’ refers to those working age people engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit during a short reference period, ‘unemployment rate’ measures the proportion of the labor force that is trying to find work.
The working age population comprises individuals aged 15 years and older. The reference period was seven days before the survey, according to the CBS.
CBS officials say that due to changes in standards after the 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians which have been followed for the latest round of the survey, the results and indicators may not be comparable with the previous rounds of surveys.
Nepal’s latest labor market indicators
• 20.7 million working age people
• 7.1 million employed
• 908,000 unemployed (unemployment rate: 11.4 percent)
• Average monthly earning: Rs 17,809
• Nepali usually worked 44 hours on average per week
• Labor force participation rate: 38.5 percent
For example, unlike in the previous surveys, the latest survey has not included people in agriculture sector or production for domestic consumption as employed due to the new definition of employment as per the new standards.
The report also found females reporting a higher unemployment rate of 13.1 percent, which is 2.8 percentage points higher compared to males.
A total 38.1 percent of job seekers were young people aged between 15 and 24 years—the biggest group of unemployed. This was followed by the age group of 25 to 34 years (31.1 percent).
The survey has also looked into the methods of job search. It found that 57 percent of those looking for work did this by contacting relatives and friends.
One in every five people who had jobs in Nepal was employed in agriculture, the biggest employing industry, according to the survey report. Trade industry had the second largest share of employment (17.5 percent), followed by construction (13.8 percent). The informal sector had a bigger share of 62.2 percent. Close to a quarter of all employed people (23.8 percent) were employed in service and sales occupations, followed by elementary occupations with just over 20 percent, according to the report.
The report found that Nepali citizens usually worked 44 hours on average per week. Average earnings of Nepali employees stand at Rs 17,809, the report shows, highlighting the gender disparities in the mean monthly earnings. The mean monthly earning for male was Rs 19,464 while it was Rs 13,630 for female.
The results show that approximately 12.3 million people aged 15 years and above reported to have been involved in production of goods for final own use like subsistence food production, manufacturing of household goods, fetching of water, collection of firewood and construction or major repairs to own dwelling.