KATHMANDU, April 17: The World Bank has said that Nepal must create 240,000 jobs a year to maintain its employment rate.
Releasing the South Asia Economic Focus report entitled 'Jobless Growth?' on Monday, the World Bank said 240,000 jobs a year should be created in the country where the working age population increases by 35,000 people per month.
The twice-a-year publication of the World Bank that has focused its edition this time on jobs and employment in South Asia argues that growth alone will not be enough to attain higher employment rates enjoyed by other developing countries, especially among women.
“Several South Asian countries have employment rates below those of other countries at a similar level of development,” read the report. “Nepal is an exception, as its employment rate is higher than that of many other countries with a similar GDP per capita,” it added.
The report also opines that South Asian countries would need to create 11.7 million jobs a year to arrest further declines in employment rates. It also said that creation of jobs of that number is feasible if the current growth momentum of the region is sustained. “If South Asia wants to increase employment rates to the levels seen in other regions with similar income levels, it would need to create many more jobs. The focus should also be on better jobs, as regular wage employment remains the exception more than the norm.”
Meanwhile, the World Bank report forecast the economy of Nepal to grow by 4.6 percent in the current fiscal year, down from an estimated 7.5 percent of growth in FY2016/17.
“Nepal has seen an economic recovery after disruptions from earthquakes and a trade blockade but growth is expected to slow from 7.5 percent in fiscal year 2017 to 4.6 percent in 2018 due to the heaviest floods in decades combined with slow recovery of exports, slowdown in remittances, and an increase in lending rates.”
The forecast of the World Bank for the upcoming fiscal years 2018/19 and 2019/20 stands at 4.5 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.
The growth forecast rate is lower than the recent ADB's forecast and the government's target.
Releasing it report last week, the Manila-based ADB said that Nepal's economy is anticipated to grow by 4.9 percent in FY2017/18.
The World Bank, however, has painted rosy economic outlook of South Asia. According to the report, South Asia has regained its lead as the fastest growing region in the world, supported by recovery in India. With the right mix of policies and reforms, growth is expected to accelerate to 6.9 percent in 2018 and 7.1 percent next year, the report stated.