Bhutan Observer
12th National Labour Force Survey 2014
Administrator, June 03, 2015

The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources is pleased to release the findings of the 12th National Labour Force Survey conducted in December, 2014. The Survey aimed to provide a quantitative information for the preparation of plans and programs affecting the labour market.

For the first time in the country the 12th Labour Force Survey was conducted using the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI). The survey covered all 20 dzongkhags with the national representative sample of 6,000 households (4,500 households in urban areas and 1,500 households in rural areas). The methodology for the survey was adopted in consultation with the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) and was based on International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations System of National Accounts guidelines.

A moving reference period of past one week comprising of seven days preceding the date of the interview was taken as the reference period for the collection of the data.

The main findings of the survey are as follows:

The total labour force, both employed and unemployed, is estimated at 348,742.

76.4 % of the total employed persons are working in informal sectors mostly in Agri-farming.

The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is estimated at 62.6 % in 2014 (decreased from 65.3 % in 2013) with male LFPR at 71 % and female LFPR at 54.8 %.

The decline in the LFPR to 62.6 % as compared to the 65.4 % in the previous year is mainly due to increased number of economically inactive population (population 15 years and above) mostly contributed by the students 49.2%, followed by 26.9% engaged in household/family duties and 16.4% due to old-age.

The national unemployment rate has decreased by 0.3% from 2.9% in 2013 to 2.6% in 2014. The female unemployment rate is higher at 3.5% compared to the male unemployment rate of 1.9%.


Similarly, the youth (15-24 years) unemployment rate has also decreased by 0.2% from 9.6% in 2013 to 9.4% in 2014. The youth population is estimated at 145,611 with 69,080 male and 76,531 female as per the survey. The female youth unemployment rate is 10.0 % while male youth unemployment rate is 8.6 %.

The decline in both the national and youth unemployment rates is attributed to the improved economy of the country in 2014 and the Government’s new initiatives on employment promotion & facilitation programs such as Guaranteed Employment Programs (GEP) – Direct Employment Scheme (DES), Employment Skills Programs (ESP) and Overseas Employment Scheme (OES).

For further information, contact:

Tandin Dorji

Sr. Statistical Officer

Labour Market Information and Research Division

Department of Employment, MoLHR

Contact # 326732