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Good fortune of jobs creation in Pakistan

For any developing economies, the international economic experts revealed that the employment growth is a problem. In the past the plans were planned to set growth targets but less priority was given to employment generation. International experts furthermore explained that for the developing countries as a whole, the most critical question is how to create rapidly hundreds of millions of employment opportunities for the poor with limited purchasing power and limited capital for investment. The idea that most of these employment opportunities could be created in the corporate sector or through government-sponsored activities has been put to rest. Presently, they also have explained that there are nearly 1 billion self-employed and unpaid family workers worldwide, most of them self-employed farmers in developing countries. The self-employed represent 48 percent of the workforce in low-income economies. For any strategy to be successful, it must give central significance to self-employment and entrepreneurship, with emphasis on agriculture, agro-industry and small firms in the informal sector. While a single approach will not be applicable to countries and regions of the world in dissimilar phases of development, a number of common rules and strategies are broadly applicable.

In the developing countries like Pakistan, the present government of Pakistan has taken special steps to complete its commitment to create 10 million employment opportunities during its tenure. The other great step of the present government is to construct 5 million houses which will substantially contribute to jobs creation because of its forward and backward linkages with other allied industries. Strengthening of Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), tourism and labor-intensive sectors will also be prioritized. In the government survey report it is also predicted that the huge inflow of almost US$60 billion investment under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would generate huge economic activities and thereby career employment opportunities. Apart from focusing on energy, infrastructure and Gwadar projects, 9 (SEZ) Special Economic Zones are being organized under CPEC portfolio, which will create tremendous job opportunities and technological transformation.

The government officials also mentioned that priority will also be given to align technical institutions and training with CPEC related trades and demand of SEZ. The early harvest projects under CPEC have created greater than 75,000 direct jobs and 200,000 allied employment opportunities for Pakistan’s citizens while the midterm and long projects under CPEC are poised to create greater than 700,000 employments in Pakistan. According to Labor Force Survey 2017-18 the overall unemployment rate was recorded 5.79 percent. The age bracket of 20-24 shows highest unemployment rate of 15.17 percent for the females and 10.5 percent for male. Moreover, youth unemployment rate is quite high as against to the average unemployment rate. The unemployment condition in the region is comparatively better than in Pakistan except Iran. The unemployment statistics shows that Pakistan’s unemployment rate at 5.79 percent is higher than that of India (2.6 percent), Bangladesh (4.3 percent), and Sri-Lanka (4.4 percent). Improvement in infrastructure and skill development programs have played significant role to create employment opportunities in these countries.

 

Statistics released through the Government of Pakistan show that the employment trend in major sectors explains that agriculture sector has the largest share but its trend is slowly declining. The share of agriculture-related employment has fallen from greater than 48.42 percent in 1999-2000 to 38.5 percent by 2017-18. This shows approximately 10 percentage points fall. However, services and manufacturing sectors are major contributors, explaining rising trends of employment opportunities. The services sector is said to be the largest growing sector of Pakistan’s economy and the share of employment opportunities in services sector is growing as against to other sectors. The employment ratio has risen from 34.25 percent in 1999-20 to 37.6 percent in 2017-18 as this sector provide career opportunities which are diverse in nature such as high skilled, unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled which includes builders, doctors, engineers, advocates and financial consultants In these sectors the total participation rate has risen. Statistics also showed that the share of employment in industry sector has risen from 17.33 percent in 1999-20 to 23.89 percent in FY2018. Because of growing share of the services and manufacturing sectors and falling share of agriculture in employment, the labor market in the country is experiencing structural changes in its composition. Furthermore, the country had a Gender Inequality Index (GII) ranking of 133 in the 2017.

Experts mentioned that it is not an encouraging sign that female participating in the labor market is also falling with the passage of time, viz from 15.8 percent in FY2015 to 14.5 percent in FY2018. The Labor Force Survey 2017-18 also shows that women are concentrated in agriculture with a share of 67 percent, while in manufacturing they have a share of 16 percent and in community and personal services they have a share of 14.6 percent. In the case of occupational groups, women are mostly working as skilled agricultural workers 55 percent, elementary/unskilled workers 18 percent, and craft and related trade workers 14 percent.

In last I would also like to mention here that employment generation is a product of multiple factors that combine together. Stimulating job creation requires a comprehensive approach, rather than partial strategies or piecemeal strategies. A number of the policies briefly has been explained by the present Government of Pakistan like new tax increased policies even changes in the monetary tools for the purpose of economic growth but it is expected that the unemployment rate would increase in the future in Pakistan.

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