15 per cent youths lost job during Covid pandemic: Study
Country’s fifteen per cent youths who were employed before the Covid-19 pandemic started in March, 2020 are now out of jobs, said a youth survey data conducted by BRAC Institute of Governance & Development (BIGD) in January 2021.
The youth already faced many challenges in the job market due to poor education, limited experience and skill, as well as limited job opportunities. During the pandemic, the struggles of the youths have become more difficult.
Researchers from BIGD presented the study findings at a webinar held on Tuesday, said a media release.
According to the study, youths employed in skilled professions like education, private firms, and handicrafts, are experiencing more prolonged unemployment compared to those in less skilled and essential professions like agriculture, day labour and transport. Even among those who managed to retain or regain employment, average incomes were 11 per cent below pre-Covid levels. Youths from urban areas suffered greater income loss (15 per cent) than those from rural areas (9 per cent).
Azharul Islam Khan, Director General of Department of Youth Development, Ministry of Youth & Sports, highlighted the need for Bangladesh to fully utilize the youth dividend.
The scenario is more concerning for women-a third of the young women employed before the pandemic were out of jobs in January 2021, three times higher than the rate among young men.
Moreover, income loss for young women working in both periods was twice that of men-average incomes decreased by 21 per cent for young women and 10 per cent for young men. Young women in the study sample were employed in the most hard-hit sectors during the pandemic, sectors like private tutoring, handicrafts, and private organizations or NGOs, which are some of the hardest-hit sectors.
As a result, confidence about future job prospect is particularly low among young women, reads the study.
Dr Jennifer Seager, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Economics at George Washington University, said that financial constraints have also resulted in decreasing job and education aspirations among the youths.
BIGD Executive Director Dr Imran Matin said the gender disparity dimensions of the pandemic become more evident in the longer term, and it is the same among the youth, which is very concerning.
Dr Muhammad Munir Hussain, National Program Officer at UNFPA, Joydeep Sinha Roy, Head of Operations of Skills Development Program at BRAC and researcher Dr Imran Matin also spoke at the webinar.