Employment rate hits 95% for the First Quarter

Every single male in Gasa dzongkhag was found to be employed

The overall employment rate in Bhutan for the first quarter of 2024 is 95.9%, with a higher rate among males (96.0%) than females (95.7%).

According to the labour force survey for the first quarter of 2024, the highest proportion of employed person by dzongkhag was under Thimphu Thromde with 56,592 persons. 93% of the total male in the dzongkhag and 92% of the female were found to be employed. Conversely, the lowest proportion was in Gasa dzongkhag with 2,427 (100% male and 98.9% female).

Similarly, the highest proportion of employed person by age group was found between the ages of 15-64 years (349,122), while the lowest proportion was between the ages of 150-19 years (4,071).

Sector-wise, the agriculture sector absorbed 152,151 (41.3%), industry sector 54,314 (14.8%), and service sector 161,584 (43.9%) of the total employed persons. The employment to population ratio by area was 55% in urban areas and 65.1% in rural areas.

All those household members who are 15 years and above and are engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit during a reference period. It comprises employed persons “at work” and “not at work”. Employed persons “not at work” are those persons who still maintained a job attachment during their absences, including those such as sick leave due to their illness or injury and periods of maternity or paternity leave during the reference period. The term “for pay or profit” refers to work done as part of a transaction in exchange for remuneration in cash or in kind. The remuneration may be paid directly to the person performing the work or indirectly to a household or family member.

While employment rate is referred to the proportion of employed population to the total labour force, employment-to population ratio represents the percentage of employed persons relative to the working age population.

The employment-to-population ratio is a basic yardstick for understanding the overall demand for labour in an economy. It provides information on the ability of an economy to generate employment. It is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the working-age population. When the employment-to-population rate rises over time, it usually means there is increasing demand for workers within the economy. A low percentage means that a large share of the working-age population is unemployed or not attached to the labour force.

Meanwhile, for the first quarter of the year 2024, the estimated unemployment rate was 4.1%. This rate is higher for females compared to males. Specifically, the unemployment rate for females is 4.3% which is slightly higher compared to their male counterpart where the rate is at 4.0%.

Likewise, the youth unemployment rate is estimated at 22.9%. Notably, the youth unemployment rate for males (25.7%) is higher than that of females (19.7%).

The unemployment rate reflects the ability of an economy to generate employment for those persons who want to work but are not doing so, even though they are available for employment and actively seeking work. It is an important indicator of labour market performance, and a key measure of labour underutilization.

By Tashi Namgyal, Thimphu