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Unemployment rate in Asian cities

Kathmandu city has the highest rate of unemployment where as Phnom Penh records the lowest official unemployment rate in Asia.


With the growing political instability across the world resulting in global recession nearly every country has been facing the challenge of unsustainable employment. From the big cities to the smaller ones a common trend is the scarcity of the reasonable jobs.

According to The 2017 Global Least & Most Stressful Cities Ranking report Kathmandu city has the highest rate of unemployment in Asia. With 8.34 per cent of the population still looking for a job, the city faces youth unemployment as one of the biggest issues. Apart from the lack of skills among the job seekers, the lack of promotion of agri-based industries and agricultural sector which is the mainstay of the economy is seen as the main cause of the unemployment.

Brunei’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan which is well-known for its standard of living has the second highest rate of unemployed people according to the report. The public sector is the main employer in Brunei and it is not able to absorb the growing numbers of young people wishing to enter the workforce every year.

Fighting drug war, Philippines is also struggling to create jobs for the expanding population. Although the idle population rate is steadily declining in Jakarta, it still has 6.26 per cent population waiting for work opportunity.

Pakistan’s commercial capital Karachi has 6.12 per cent of unemployment rate. Although it is the major industrial base of the country but due to the persistent political unrest it has seen little investment. 

Bangladesh’s major city Dhaka has 4.81 per cent jobless people. Various reports suggest that it is the scarcity of skill and education amongst the youth that contributes to the rising unemployment. The disconnect of youth to the labour market is seen as a growing global challenge. 

India’s capital, New Delhi is next with 4.38 per cent of population struggling to find a job. With people from around the country flocking to the capital in search of work, the unemployment rate keeps rising. According to an economic survey of Delhi, thousands of the unemployed people have a degree or diploma and it is a concern for the governemnt to generate jobs for this demographic. 

The growing industrial sector in Colombo seen as critical for ecomic take off has failed to absorb the growing labour force in the country. The unemployment rate in the city is 4.14 per cent.

Osaka perfecture once seen as a thriving labour hub is seeing decline in employment rate. A neighbourhood with lots of construction jobs available once is facing job scarcity with unemplyment rate at 3.72 per cent . Osaka perfecture has the largest number of homeless people in the country mostly becaue of the unemployment. 

With the economy slowing and smaller businesses having difficulty to grow, Seoul  has an unemployment rate of  3.48 per cent. The urban unemployed population comprises mostly of youth who despite studying for many years and appearing in tests fail to secure desired employment. 

High unemployment not only damages economies but also disrupts social structures. Heavily populated Shanghai and Japan’s busy capital Tokyo is facing the vicious problem despite strong technological advancements. Modern city, Kuala Lumpur is also witnessing slow job growth and rise in unemployment.

With the global economic slowdown India’s metro cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore are still struggling with staggering employment opportunities.

Published : October 12, 2017

By : DataLEADS Asia News Network NEW DELHI