Bangladesh Sees Drop in Young Workforce in Q1’242 min read

Official data reveals a concerning trend in Bangladesh’s labor market, with a notable decline in the young workforce during the first quarter of 2024. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the total workforce is estimated at 25.92 million, marking a significant decrease compared to previous years.

As reported, in the January to March period of 2024, the number of young workers aged between 15 and 29 plummeted by 1.46 million compared to the same timeframe in 2023. This decline is part of a broader trend observed in recent years, with the annual young workforce reported at 26.82 million in 2022 and 26.74 million in 2023.

The latest survey, conducted based on a population of 172.94 million, with an estimated 73.75 million in the labor force, paints a challenging picture of the employment landscape in Bangladesh. Of the labor force, 71.16 million were employed in the first quarter of 2024, leaving a significant portion unemployed.

Gender disparities persist within the employed population, with 48.45 million males and 25.30 million females actively engaged in the workforce. Moreover, the unemployment rate has seen a concerning rise, escalating from 2.35% in Q4 2023 to an estimated 3.51% in Q1 2024. The survey data indicates a rise in the number of unemployed individuals, with 240,000 more people jobless in Q1 2024 compared to the previous quarter. This translates to a current unemployment figure of 2.59 million, reflecting a worrying trend in Bangladesh’s labor market.

Reportedly, unemployment rates have also surged across genders, with the male unemployment rate climbing to 3.59% in Q1 2024, up from 3.27% in Q4 2023. Similarly, the female unemployment rate rose to 3.36% in Q1 2024, compared to 3.06% in the previous quarter. The national unemployment rate stands at 3.51% in Q1 2024, according to the latest labor survey. While the number of jobless men has increased by 2% year-on-year, reaching 1.74 million, a contrasting trend is observed among women, with a 3% decrease in the number of unemployed females, totaling 850,000 at the end of March 2024.

As Bangladesh grapples with these challenges in its labor market, policymakers and stakeholders face the urgent task of implementing measures to address unemployment and foster inclusive economic growth.

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