The suspension of government job postings due to the coronavirus pandemic has increased vacancies along with the number of jobseekers.
As many as 387,338 government posts, or 21.27 per cent of the total, are now vacant. The rate was 18.8 per cent in 2013.
The government may take a decision on the issue in August as it expects the coronavirus outbreak to become less severe this month, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said.
There are about 1.43 million government employees against more than 1.82 million posts, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Public Administration.
Of the vacancies, over 105,000 are class-I and II posts, while class-III and class-IV account for over 280,000 vacant posts.
The Bangladesh Public Service Commission appoints class-I and class-II employees, while ministries directly employ class-III and class-IV employees.
A public administration ministry official blamed the ministries’ indifference for the pile of vacant posts.
“It would have been possible to fill the empty posts had the ministries been more active,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
The ministries and divisions have 5,201 vacancies, while the number is 256,633 in the departments and directorates.
In the offices of divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners, 13,812 posts are vacant. The autonomous institutions and corporations have 111,692 vacancies.
The government employees include a little over 1.0 million men and nearly 400,000 women.
Bangladesh enforced a 66-day nationwide lockdown from March 26 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The PSC did not issue any recruitment notification during the period and the first three months of the year.
However, the commission issued several recruitment notices for non-cadre posts in the first week of June. A number of ministries issued a handful of recruitment notices as well.
There is no official account of how many people are seeking government jobs.
AEM Nesar Uddin, exam controller at PSC, said a number of recruitment tests for non-cadre posts could not be held due to the outbreak.
Another official said there would be fewer appointments in the non-cadre posts this year than in the past. “And new recruitments will be naturally delayed until the postponed appointments are made.”
As many as 65 million people out of the 160 million-strong population are currently employed, according to the labour ministry. They include 10 million people working in the formal sectors and 55 million in the informal sectors.
State Minister Farhad Hossain said that if the number of coronavirus cases does not surge, the Bangladesh Civil Service tests will be held in October or November, he said.
“A lot of decisions will be made based on the Covid-19 situation in August.”