Kochi: Kerala’s economic growth has declined sharply following the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state’s domestic product has shrunk by -9.2% in the financial year 2020-21, the economic review tabled in the Kerala legislature on Friday ahead of the presentation of the state budget shows.
(State Domestic Product, or SDP, is the total value of goods and services produced during a fiscal year within the geographic boundaries of a state. Negative economic growth occurs when the domestic product gross/state decreases from year to year. It is expressed as a percentage over a period of time.)
In another disturbing fact, there has been a drop of Rs 16,000 in terms of per capita income. It fell from Rs 1.62 lakh to Rs 1.46 lakh – a decrease of -9.66%. According to the Economic Review, this amount is one and a half times higher than the average for all of India.
The service sector disappoints
The major decline in growth was reported in the services sector during the 2020-21 period, particularly due to the fact that sectors such as tourism were then almost non-functional. It recorded a decline of -9.25% growth.
But in agriculture and related fields, there was a growth of 3.81% based on a constant price calculation. Interestingly enough, it was from the -5% figure of 2019-20 that such a turnaround was recorded in the sector, that too during the COVID-19 period.
However, the construction sector recorded a decline of 10.3%. But in the previous year of 2019-20, there was only -1% decline in growth in the sector.
In industrial production, the decline was -8.9%. Such a decline had been observed over the past three years. The Economic Review claimed that such a scenario was due to the impact of COVID-19, but noted that the damage was limited at such a level due to the implementation of the Rs 20,000 rescue plan.
Unemployment rate higher than the national average
Along with the negative growth in labour-intensive areas, the unemployment rate has increased.
The recorded unemployment rate in Kerala among young people in the age bracket of 15 to 29 years was very high during the period. He came in at nearly 35.4 percent. Of this number, 26.5% belonged to men and 53.7% to women.
The unemployment rate in Kerala among people aged 15-59 was 10% in the financial year 2020-21. Compared to previous years, there was an increase of one percent. But the average for all of India was 4.8%.
Among men up to age 59, the registered unemployment rate was 7.4%. Among women, it was 15.1% over the period. The average for all India was 4.5% for men and 4.2% for women.
Kerala also tops the unemployment rate in the higher education sector. Educated unemployment reached 16.7% during the period. In the villages, the rate was 17% while it was 16.4% in the cities.
Kerala’s unemployment figures were higher than the all-India average. At the all-India level, unemployment among the educated over the period was 10.1%. It was 9.9% in rural areas and 10.3% in urban areas.