DHAKA, Oct 6, 2020 (BSS) – A dynamic labour market now exists in Bangladesh which is very much positive while the country is gradually overcoming the impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, said a Perception Survey on Livelihood 2020 carried out by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).
The summary of the survey findings, revealed by Planning Minister MA Mannan after today’s ECNEC meeting, said that the number of unemployment rate in the country in March this year was 2.3 percent before the COVID-19 could unleash its attack in large numbers.
But, the survey findings said the unemployment rate in the country soared to 22.39 percent during April-July period this year due to the general holidays and thus disruption of economic activities owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“But, the unemployment rate in September came down at 3.75 percent which indicates that a dynamic labour market now exists in Bangladesh which is very much positive. That means we’re now gradually overcoming the impact of COVID-19 pandemic,” said the summary of the survey findings.
The Planning Minister said this perception survey was carried out in a very scientific and modern way.
Mannan said although the impact of the COVID-19 was negative on the country, but the country’s agriculture sector was not affected by it.
The survey was carried out by the BBS through mobile phone interviews for seven days from September 13 to 19, 2020. A total of 2040 mobile phone users were initially selected for the survey on random sampling basis representing the four mobile phone operators of the country namely grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink, and Teletalk with support from the BTRC.
Out of those, some 989 persons responded to the survey questions with the rate of answering reaching 48.48 percent.
Analyzing the survey findings, it was found that around 21.33 households received government assistance or relief items during the financial crisis owing to COVID-19. Out of those government assistance or relief recipient households, the average income of around 94.44 households in August was Taka 20,000 or less while the average income of 82.64 percent households in March this year was also Taka 20,000 or less.
“This means that most of the low-income households or families have received government assistance or relief,” added the summary findings of the survey.
The Planning Minister said compared to March this year, the average income of the interviewed households came done by 20.24 percent in August this year due to the impact of COVID-19. The average income of a household in March this year was Taka 19,425 which came down at Taka 15,492 in August.
He, however, informed that the average monthly expenditure for each household in August this year came down by 6.14 percent compared to March this year owing to the impact of COVID-19. The average monthly expenditure for per household in March this year was Taka 15,403 which came down at Taka 14,119 in August.
Quoting the survey findings, the minister said around two thirds or 68.39 percent of the interviewed families faced various types of problems during April-July period when the infection of this deadly virus was on the high. The survey findings said the rickshaw or van pullers and the day labourers suffered the most due to their financial constraints.
The survey findings also showed that around 52.58 percent of the households or families have reduced their food consumption since March. Out of those, two thirds of the families expressed that they have reduced their food consumption due to the decline in monthly income.
The survey results showed that the number of people who maintain their livelihood through agriculture remained stable all throughout the COVID-19 period as their number was 10.23 percent in March, 9.22 percent in April-July and 10.13 percent in September this year.
However, the number of businessmen came down sharply during April to July this year at 9.73 percent which was 17.43 percent in March this year before the COVID-19 could launch its attack in the country. With the economic recovery, the number of businessmen in the country in September last increased to 16.51 percent.
In the same way, the number of day labourers in March 2020 was 8.21 percent which came down at 4.15 percent during April to July this year due to the pandemic. The number of day labourers in September this year, however, almost returned to the pre-pandemic situation with 7.50 percent.
Answering to a question, Statistics and Informatics Division Secretary Md Yamin Chowdhury said the country is gradually overcoming the shocks of the COVID-19 due to economic recovery.