Educated Unemployed Youth in Bangladesh

Written By: Mustafa Mahmud Hassan

The number of unemployed graduates is enhancing day-by-day in Bangladesh because our education system is not consistent with the job market. World Bank Lead Economist Zahid Hussain said “The absence of quality education and a skilled labour force are the main causes of youth unemployment in Bangladesh”. Almost half of the graduates entered to the job market in every year but they are not getting appropriate jobs according to merit or staying unemployed. Now, 47 percent graduates of this country are unemployed, said in a special report of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the world renowned British magazine Economist. The unemployment rate of Afghanistan is 65 percent which is the highest among the South Asian countries. The unemployment rate of India is 33 percent, more than 20 percent in Nepal, 28 percent in Pakistan and 7.8 percent in Sri Lanka. Graduate unemployment is not unique to countries like Bangladesh. Japan has for many years undergone of rising graduate unemployment. In South Korea, a country with very high university enrolment rate, the number of economically inactive graduates is over 3 million. In Singapore, graduate unemployment rate was said to be 3.6% in 2013 against the average unemployment rate of around 2%.

“Global youth unemployment is a growing global challenge. When young workers are not able to connect to the labour market, it profoundly impacts their ability to participate fully in the economy, and threatens their social and economic future,” said John Irons, managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation. According to the manpower survey-2010 of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), current manpower is 5 crore and 67 lakh in this country. 5 crore and 41 lakh people are doing jobs among them. That means only 26 lakh people are not doing any job. However, the survey has shown that, 1 crore 11 lakh people works in the family but did not receive any salary. There are 1 crore and 6 lakh day laborers who do not have any permanent job. According to the World Bank report, the unemployment rate is 14.2 percent but the government of Bangladesh shows the less. Every year, the 13 lakh people are being joined on the job market. So there is a pressure on the economy to make new job places. The report said, “The growth rate will be rose to 8 percent if the employment rate of Bangladesh can be increased 2 percent more. By this way, the country can be entered in middle-income level between 2021.” According to the World Bank report, the gender differential in Bangladesh was striking, with young women constituting the majority of unemployed young NEETs (not in employment, education or training) in Bangladesh. More young women than young men are in vulnerable employment and the greatest proportion of women in vulnerable employment can be seen in Bangladesh (90%), according to the World Bank report. The report said, “In Bangladesh, the adult participation rate is 88%, compared with 69% of the youth population. Eighty percent of young women are at home and not in the labour force. Two-thirds of young women are not in employment education or training (NEET), and two-thirds of school drop outs are women.”  From the information of International Labor Organization (ILO), nearly 3 lakh people are unemployed now in Bangladesh. According to the organization, the position of the Bangladesh is 12th among the 20 unemployment growing countries.

There is a strong relation between unemployment and crime. According to Mohammad Ashraful Alam, chairman of the criminology and police sciences department of Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, there is a big connection between crime and economics. He told, “Youth suffering from poverty, unemployment and illiteracy are often driven by frustration towards drugs”. He added, “The step to crime is a small one. If unemployment rises, the crime rate will too”. Ashraf advised that the state needs to take responsibility for this by creating new jobs and upgrading the education system to include science and technology. Professor Shah Ehsan Habib of the sociology department at Dhaka University said, “Some studies on unemployment found depression to be a major negative impact of unemployment. Young people will feel that they do not belong and society may treat them as a burden.” Ehsan added, “Crime will likely follow such a state of affairs, if not among the rich, almost certainly among the middle and working classes.” Ehsan advised that job creation and stipends may help deal with unemployment. To solve the unemployment problem, the government has taken some steps. The government has offered some free training courses about various subjects such digital marketing, web designing, web development, apps development and so on. The government has arranged some free workshops for unemployed people to give information about freelancing. The government only can not solve this major problem. We, the people of Bangladesh, should work together and step forward to solve this major problem.    

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