Kathmandu, May 26

Survival in the cities is a major issue and concern for new rural migrants as they lack urban skills and education and their topmost priority is to get any job for their immediate livelihood, and the question of decent job tends to be the second-order priority, says a recent report published by the Ministry of Urban Development.

“The new migrants from the rural areas get employment mostly in the informal sector where there is less demand for skills and education, and therefore even unskilled workers can get jobs. In Nepal, 90 per cent of the labour force is engaged in the informal sector, and only 10 per cent in the organised or formal sector,” read the report ‘Inclusive Cities: Resilient Communities’.

The formal sector is registered and is protected through different legal provisions. Although cities offer various employment opportunities to different levels of people with different types of skills and educational background, job opportunities are extremely limited. As result, there is intense competition for limited opportunities in the job market, it said.

Public sector’s initiative towards creating decent jobs and livelihoods through targeted programmes like Youth and Small Entrepreneur Self Employment Fund has met with mixed success as it is often labelled as distributive and not used in targeted areas. Creating decent jobs through investment in LED has remained a challenge due to the lack of policy support and inadequate financial resource.

The formal sector has been providing only limited job opportunities while the informal economy is catering to the needs to a large extent in urban areas at present. Provision of decent jobs for better livelihood in urban areas is desired by all, particularly by the poor families.

“At present the unemployment rate in urban areas is five per cent; in Kathmandu Valley, the rate is eight per cent. The increase in employment opportunities is possible when there is investment in various sectors of the economy. Such investment comes when there is conducive environment in terms of political, social, and economic stability,” the report suggested.

Livelihood becomes secured with stable income source and easier with the availability of basic services such as water supply, electricity and sanitation, among others. Urban areas are relatively better off with regard to such services and facilities compared to rural areas in Nepal.