Interesting article on demand for labour by 2010

While going through some old kuensel newspapers after the brief by the Hon. Labour Minister during the National Council Question Time it was interesting to note that a previous story by Phuntsho Namgay on June 23, 2009 in Kuensel actually lets one to believe that the demand for labour would actually drop by 80% by the year 2012 based on a survey by the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (first establishment census, 2008). The census had surveyed 7162 private sector establishments, government agencies, corporations, joint ventures and FDI companies, out of which only 4962 planned to expland their operations leaving 2200 (31%) without expansion plans.

This means not only does the government have to take that dip of 80% in the demand for labour by 2012 and correct it but also create an additional 75,000 jobs to be able to bring down the unemployment rate to 2.5% from the current rate of 4%. I do not want to think and conclude prematurely that the Ministry didnot refer back to it’s report and if so, then the 75,000 jobs would be inclusive of the incremental 80% correction. Some interesting developments in a related manner are the BPOs. BPOs typically presents one with a picture of a massive hall with lots of computers and young people busy making calls or taking calls and other things but the visibly failing BPO unit (the first one to start in Bhutan) sends out a signal that something is gone wrong somewhere. This would not only hurt the increasing unemployment rate but needless to say that it would potential dissuade others from investing in such projects. The Job Fair organized by the Ministry in October this year pictures a somewhat concurring picture with only 287 jobs with about 9000 youth looking for employment avenues. This all points towards the 80% dip that demand for labour would take over the next few years.

On the other hand there is an apparent domestic market for babysitters and domestic helps and with illegal sweepers being removed from the market, there would definitely be a demand not fulfilled. Perhaps, making these occupations/professions more desirable would be a good strategy. At the moment, much hope seems to be pivoted around the McKinsey formula which appears to be very positive and not to forget an ambitious one at that.

I am not trying to make any point here, I was thinking this habit of writing down my thoughts would help with continuity with my thought process and as simply an exercise I do this.


About Sangay Khandu

Elected to Parliament of Bhutan twice. Previously worked with the Central Bank, the largest SoE (power utility) and international organization.
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