More people now without jobs
"Now the paddy harvesting season has started. Job opportunities in this sector will increase soon. As a result, the number of unemployed people will decrease again."
Within a quarter, the number of people unemployed rose by 2.70 lakh to 25.9 lakh, shows data provided by the government.
There were 23.2 lakh jobless people in December, according to the quarterly data from the Labour Force Survey unveiled by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) yesterday.
The unemployment rate is currently 3.51 percent, which was 3.2 percent in December.
However, the unemployment number is less than that of the first quarter of 2022 when 29.50 lakh people were without work.
There are 7.11 crore people employed in the country and 4.65 crore of them are men.
Of the employed, 3.19 crore are in the agriculture sector, 1.22 crore in industrial sector, and 2.69 crore in the service sector, read the report.
The youth labour force is 2.73 crore, which was 2.60 crore in December.
According to the previous Labour Force Survey of the 2022 year, the unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent mainly due to an upward trend in women's and youths' participation in the workforce.
Rizwanul Islam, a former employment sector special adviser at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, said the seasonal factor might be a reason for the increase in unemployment in agriculture.
Yesterday, the survey report was revealed at a press conference at the National Economic Council of the Ministry of Planning. State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam was the chief guest.
Shamsul said the data of every quarterly labour force survey report has seasonal factors. "We should not come to any conclusion based on this. We shouldn't get scared."
The state minister said the demand for labour is not constant, it is always fluctuating. "Usually, the January to March period is considered a lean period for the agriculture sector.
"Now the paddy harvesting season has started. Job opportunities in this sector will increase soon. As a result, the number of unemployed people will decrease again," he said.
Among others, Shahanz Arefin, secretary to the statistics and informatics division, BBS Director General Md Matiar Rahman, Labour Force Survey Project Director Aziza Rahman were present at the event.
Matiar said they would be publishing quarterly labour force survey report regularly from now on.