Caution: Symptoms of de-industrialization ...

Total unemployment in Indonesia more just swell. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), the number of unemployed in 2005 reached 40.6 million people. Of this amount, as many as 11 million people are unemployed or do not have a job open at all to sustain life.

While the rest, which is about 30 million people are unemployed half-open or do not have a regular job. This group of disguised unemployment, if averaged monthly income does not reach USD 150 thousand.

Total unemployment is actually pretty alarming. Moreover, viewed from the background of his education. Open unemployment as many as 2.4 million primary school-educated people, followed by as many as 2.6 million junior high and high school graduates 3.9 million people.

While highly educated, there were 707 thousand people consisting of 385 thousand people graduate, diploma III 215 thousand men, and 107 thousand men diploma I. This unemployment problem is likely to continue to grow because we are going slow economic recovery.

The process of economic recovery after the monetary crisis in 1998 has yet to show significant increase. This can be seen from the opening of new jobs very slow. Even the BPS in 2003 noted the occurrence of employment contraction which reached 1.2 million. This amount is divided into 656 thousand jobs in urban areas and 564 thousand jobs lost in the countryside.

This fact shows that many of the existing workforce is not absorbed within the existing formal economic sector. Meanwhile, to enter non-formal sector, they also do not have enough skill to create economically productive.

Amid the ever increasing problem of unemployment, we also need to be alert to the phenomenon de-industrialization is taking place in our country. De-industrialization is a decline in the industrial sector whose symptoms with declining growth in the manufacturing industry is continuously thus minimizing its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) or to labor absorption.

According to the Bureau of Statistics data, the growth of manufacturing industry in the first quarter of 2005 was still high enough to reach 7.1 percent. But since the second quarter has declined drastically to reach 2.9 percent by the end of 2005. In fact, in the early quarter of 2006, growth continued to decline until it reaches 2.0. So also when viewed from the aspect of the competitiveness of Indonesian products manufacturing industry in the global markets are also declining. From the results of a survey about the prospects for the manufacturing industry which was conducted in 60 countries, Indonesia ranks 60 th best youngest alias. Even far below even China and Vietnam.

Symptoms of de-industrialization is indeed the stronger should be anticipated. If 'the economic earthquake' this can happen is feared will cause a wave of layoffs and massive unemployment. Large number of unemployed who are currently more difficult to overcome if the de-industrialization really happened. For that we need to anticipate a fairly strategic. Among the government needs to diversify the industry and encourage increased exports, both related to its product and its export targets. (*)