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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in 2020-2021 from 6.9 per cent in 2018-2019, according to the Pakistan Economic Survey released by Finance Ministry on Thursday.

The Survey does not provide data for 2021-22 which economists claim has witnessed a significant rise in unemployment rates premised on the fact that Large Scale Manufacturing growth has registered negative 8.1 percent July-March 2023 and private sector credit is down by 80.4 percent (July-April 2023) notes that 4.51 million people from the labour force could not get jobs during this period.

Whereas, the working age population between the age of (15-24) and (25- 34) is 41.77 million and 31.28 million respectively. According to Labour Force Survey (LFS) employed Labour force increased to 67.25 million in 2020-21 as compared to 64.03 million in 2018-19.

PIDE releases research report on unemployment

The Survey stated that more than 12.4 million Pakistanis have proceeded abroad for employment in over 50 countries through official procedures as of December 2022. More than 96 percent of Pakistani registered workers for overseas employment are in Gulf Cooperation Council countries mainly in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

They are contributing to the development of Pakistan’s economy by sending remittances, which is the major source of foreign exchange. Due to the normalization of post COVID-19 pandemic and ease in visa restrictions, an increasing trend was observed in terms of emigrants registered during 2022 including to GCC countries.

Pakistan is the 5th most populous country in the world. According to the National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS), the estimated population of Pakistan is 229.22 million in 2022 of which 84.69 million reside in urban areas, whereas 144.53 million live in rural areas and the population density is 287.93 per kilometer square.

Pakistan is one of those countries where available resources are under acute pressure due to increased demand as a result of an ever-increasing population, the Survey stated. The government is committed to provide a conducive and enabling environment to the country’s youth so that they can be empowered and perform for the country’s socio-economic growth.

The labor force of Pakistan is increasing at a rapid pace and the government is getting the maximum benefit of increased labor force by equipping them with technical and educational skills and making them more productive, so claimed the Survey.

The outcome of these efforts can be seen in terms of increased employment both at the national and international level, the survey further contended. To further reap the benefit for young population, the government has launched different programmes under the umbrella of “Prime Minister’s Youth Development Programme” for improving employment opportunities for youth.

These programmes are expected to promote job creation rather than job seeking in youth and increase the chances of better employment opportunities not only in the domestic market but also in the international market.

Over the medium term it is expected that employment opportunities will increase in line with higher GDP growth and improvement in global economic environment particularly in the countries with which Pakistan is integrated economically. Furthermore, the realization to have a rationalized family size in line with the available resources will also help to limit the population growth in the coming years.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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