Saturday Feb 24, 2024
Saturday Feb 24, 2024

Youth Unemployment: A Serious Problem in Nepal

Nepal’s job market is unable to accommodate a large youth population seeking employment resulting in an increase in foreign employment.

2022 Jul 21, 6:13, Kathmandu

 "I have passed my college yet I am unemployed. It is not easy for me and my family. I have been trying to get a job for a while. The situation is really discouraging and now I am planning to move abroad to earn some money. My family is struggling to make ends meet,” says a bachelor graduate Rajesh Mahato.

Mahato represents many youths in Nepal who are unemployed and are struggling to get a decent job even after a college degree. Employment challenges for youths in Nepal are real. Over 60 percent of Nepal’s population are youths, however youths compared to the unemployment rate of the country overall, have significantly higher unemployment rates. The International labor organization (ILO) reports, over 19 percent of youths in Nepal are unemployed.

Currently, Nepal has a significant adolescent population. This means more people will be entering the labor force each year. ILO estimates over 400,000 young people enter the labor force every year in Nepal. A young country demands ample work opportunities, however lack of desired employment opportunities drive most youths of the country overseas in search of better work experiences and higher income.

Internal migration too is motivated by employment opportunities in Nepal. Citizens are migrating from rural areas of the country to cities in pursuit of better living standards. Internal migrants are most attracted to the southern region of the country, which constitutes the plain region of Terai, suitable for both agricultural and industrial activities.

Migration towards cities and low income jobs are resulting in an increasing number of slum settlements in Nepal’s growing cities. The ministry of Urban development reports an increase in slum settlements in Kathmandu and Pokhara, as well as in other popular migrant destinations such as Dharan, Birganj, Bharatpur and Mechinagar.

Nepal Labour Force Survey 2017/18, performed by the Government of Nepal National Planning Commission and Central Bureau of Statistics reveals agriculture to be the most popular employment sector in Nepal, with one in every five people who work employed in agriculture. This confirms that Nepal is in present still an agricultural country in regards to internal employment engagement.

However, industries have a huge role to play in generating mass employment opportunities for youths in Nepal. Announcing the budget for the fiscal year 2022/023 in the Federal Parliament, Finance Minister Janardan Sharma unraveled the government’s plan to make provisions for leasing state owned land for 50 years. These lease provisions are aimed to minimize unemployment by ensuring a favorable industrial environment for industries to grow in Nepal.

Government’s initiative is hoped to make a change in youth unemployment rate but there are many facets to youth unemployment in Nepal that need to be addressed, through youth led discussions and programs.


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