The economy of the people revolves round the forest, agriculture and minerals.
(a) Agriculture: - A large number of people are engaged in agricultural activities. Cultivation of paddy, maize, cereals, wheat, oil seeds etc. are common. The people are either working as agricultural labourers or cultivators. Kharif and Rabbi are the main agricultural seasons. Karma festival is celebrated for good production of crops.
(b) Forest: - Out of total geographical area of 4302 sq. k.m., forest area covers nearly 2566 sq. k.m. The tribal economy revolves around using forest products, by products and minor products. Kendu leaves, Bamboo and its manufactured products, Mahua, fruits, leaves (used is the making of dona, pattal), lac etc. play an important role in the economic activity of the people. People also hunt animals for food and ‘Jani shikar’ festival is related to this hunting habit.
(c) Mines and Minerals: - The geological reports say that the district is very rich in various mineral deposits. There is abundance of deposit of Coal, Bauxite, Laterite, Dolomite, and Graphite etc. Granite, Quartz, Fireclay, Felspar etc. The excavation and exploration of these minerals have provided job opportunities to the inhabitants of this hinterland to some extent because these minerals have not been fully explored at large scale and there are no mineral based industries in the district.
(d) Animal Husbandry: -The quality of livestock is very poor. Cow, goats etc. are of local variety and the average milk yield is very less. There is a vast scope in the field of animal husbandry in Hazaribagh.
(e) Trade and commerce: - In place of old Mahajans and landlords, various banks are operating their branches is the district but it is a matter of fact that most of the villages are so scattered that the system of primary trade in the hands of vyaparis and village sahukars still continues. Paddy thrashing, dona pattal making, bamboo basket making, selling of mahua flowers. Lacs, kendu leaves and other minor forest produces are main components of trading activities. In the absence of major industries and employment opportunities, the options of economic development are limited. Animal husbandry, piggery and fisheries etc. have good potential, but this sector has still remained unexplored.