Opposition slams government for not releasing labor force survey report


The opposition party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) is accusing the government of hiding unemployment figures by not releasing the Labor Force Survey Report (LFS) 2016, which according to it should have been released by April 2017.

DPT in a press release stated that despite the completion of the survey about eight months back, the government has not declared it.

“The refusal by the government to release the Labor Force Survey Report 2016 is a clear act of deception of the public and the nation,” reads the press release adding that the Prime Minister recently made it clear that the report would not be released.

This, according to the opposition, is the highest height of manipulation and deception by the government that had promised 100% employment.

The government supposedly cited reasons namely that it would duplicate the employment figures that would be brought out also by the Bhutan Living Standard Survey (BLSS) and National Population and Housing Census (NPHC).

“This is a mere excuse.  We understand that the release of the report was deliberately held up due to fear of exposing the alarming unemployment figures,” states the press release.

The 13th nationwide LFSR published in 2015 found an overall unemployment rate of 2.5%. Youth unemployment rate was 10.7% while female unemployment rate was 12.7%.

DPT also stated that the LFS Report is the chief reference report for labor and employment matters and it was released in the past irrespective of the other two reports.

The opposition slammed the government’s covertness as “a deliberate attempt by the government to obstruct the citizens’ right to information and deceive the public and the nation.”

LFS 2016 was conducted from November 23 to December 22, 2016, while BLSS was conducted from March 1 to April 30, 2017 and NPHC from April 30 to June 1, 2017.

Business Bhutan contacted the Labor Minister on the issue but he refused to comment.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu