Rising unemployment should be deeply worrying but not to our government21 November 2020
To mention, Bangladesh is the home of 47,020 manufacturing industries, which include export-oriented and local demand-fulfilling units, where 4.71 million people are directly employed, said the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) data. According to the Planning Ministry sources, the government is set to backtrack on its initial targets for the Eighth Five-Year Plan, including of job creation, amid the lingering Covid-19 pandemic. The job creation target will now be reduced below 90 lakh from the initial projection of 1.13 crore for the next five fiscal years until June 2025.
Mentionable, every year 21-lakh people join the country's workforce while only 13 lakh jobs are created. Besides, a large number of unemployed youths seek jobs in the oil-rich Arab countries every year, but these countries too have kept their doors shut to the foreign workers due to the pandemic.
Currently, frustration is growing among the country's jobseekers, as no scope of fresh employment is there. According to the latest official survey, there are 2.7 million unemployed people in the country.
The government has disbursed Tk 50-billion stimulus package for helping the export-oriented manufacturing industries, affected by the pandemic, to pay monthly wages to their officials and workers. The money has disbursed among affected manufacturing industries at a nominal interest rate of 2.0 per cent. There is nobody to see if the money is properly used. Everybody is busy to abuse public money.
Meanwhile, thousands of workers have become jobless following closure of the factories just after the pandemic. With the reopening of the factories, all the workers could not join their work and are still remained out of this government facility. Economists have mentioned that there is a common perception that increasing exports would result in increasing employment. If we -- as a nation --- produce more goods and services for export, then that increased production should translate into more jobs.
Indeed, we will have to accept that increasing exports will not necessarily translate into new jobs. Rather, if a strengthening dollar results in reduced or negative export growth, employment in those industries may fall, they mentioned
Bangladesh faces a tremendous challenge to provide jobs for the 20 million young people set to join the labour force over the next decade? To grow faster, provide more jobs, and continue its pace of poverty reduction, the country needs to build on its strong track record and improve on it.