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Jobless youth – A gravest social, economic problem

Published on 27th Apr, Edition 17, 2015


One of the gravest social and economic problems facing the country is unemployment. It is a fact that one person out of ten is out of work in Pakistan. It is a global problem, even the most advanced and prosperous countries of the world like USA, Britain are Japan are faced with this problem.

It is difficult to provide jobs to all but it can be tackled down. We have unemployment among all the sections of our society. This is among the educated and uneducated, among the skilled and unskilled. It is most unfortunate that highly qualified and professional persons like doctors, engineers and teachers are even without jobs.

Many of our educated youth have gone abroad and are serving the people of other countries. It has reduced the economic, social and political stability and concern of the country and is a great hurdle in the way of the progress and prosperity of a developing country.

Unemployment is a great burden on society and is a nursery for crimes, moral and social evils. It is estimated that more than a million people are entering the market for jobs and only a very small percentage is absorbed.

The unemployed person faces a demoralized stance. Some of them turn into drug addicts. Some others take to anti-social activities in order to make ends meet. Those who are unemployed have lacking in resources to maintain their own and their family members’ health.

Due to unemployment in our country, our resources are not utilized to the full degree and production is less than the maximum. The educational system is so much defective as to render the educated men unfit for useful careers.

The system of education originally devised by Macaulay in this country has proved to be a cause of misery. It only produced routine officers and no industrial education value the name is reported. Primary and higher education is government’s responsibility. The existing system of education is defective and calls for complete renovation.

Technological advancement is the major cause of unemployment. With the advancement in technology, few manufacturing procedure has become as perfect as to be almost unmanned and therefore lessens the demand for labor. Because of advances in technical skill and highly specialized division of labor, able bodied and efficient men are unable to secure jobs.

On account of the small holdings, modern methods of agriculture cannot be successfully carried out unless the government to abolishes the feudalistic system. The capitalists are also responsible for causing the problem of unemployment. Unemployment arises from a variety of causes. It is a serious problem to eliminate all causes of unemployment.

Unemployment has also been created due to the fact that most of the people do not want to do such jobs which are below standard and which are not desired. For example, the job of washer-man, cobblers, barbers etc. are very much money- making, but the people do not want such jobs and prefer fall into a poor life.

According to National Youth Policy 2008, youth is defined as a period during which a person prepares himself/herself to be an active and fully, responsible member of the society. Various countries use different age groups for defining the population of youth. For Pakistan the population in the age group of 15 to 29 years is taken as the young population.

According to the Labor Force Survey 2012-13, Pakistan has a population of 50.32 million youth among which 25.32 million are males while 24.99 million are females. The unemployment rate of youth has declined to 6.45 percent in 2006-07 from 11.3 percent in 2001-02 but it has again start accelerating and has reached to 9.23 percent in 2012-13.


Pakistan has a total of 2.2 million unemployed youth. Majority of the unemployed youth are males (71 percent). Male youth of urban areas is more unemployed than male youth of rural areas as 75 percent male youth is unemployed in urban areas while 67 percent in rural areas. Majority of the unemployed youth in Pakistan is either 18 years old or is 20 years old as statistics indicate that 12 percent of the total unemployed youth is 18 years old while 11 percent are 20 years old. This is a serious problem because this age group is highly dynamic and learning period.

It is seen that only 0.1 percent youth having higher qualification is unemployed. Unemployment is higher for the youth who are either illiterate (18 percent) or have matric level qualification (21 percent). Youth unemployment is high for the males having matric qualification (22 percent) and for the females who are illiterate (21 percent).

In Pakistan women are socially restricted to be confined to their homes or as near to their house as possible. This is the reason that almost 30 percent unemployed women are ready to work but within their own village/town/city while 16 percent unemployed female youth is ready to work within household only.

The unemployed youth of Pakistan is also very choosy in job selection. If they do not get a job of their own choice, they prefer to be unemployed. A large number of the unemployed youth is ready to work only in the government sector as full time paid employee (54 percent). The government sector somehow or another provide job security whereas the small private does not provide job security. There is a fear of losing job at any time.

The male unemployed youth also prefers public sector jobs. They also prefer multinational jobs. As far as female youth is concerned, they either want a full time paid employment with government (61.15 percent) or to be self-employed (15.41 percent).

Challenges ahead

National Youth Policy (2008) suggested a great emphasis on providing training to youth so that skilled youth will be able to get good opportunities in job market. But figures indicate that in 2012-13, 86 percent of the unemployed youth has never received any technical or vocational training.

There is a great need to enhance the existing programs of skill development and vocational training in the country as it has a tremendous potential to provide employment to our youth in rural and urban areas as well as the job market abroad. The challenges ahead are to transform the demographic increase in the youth population into a productive group by engaging them in rewarding economic activities to accelerate the growth of Pakistan in the 21st century.

The joint efforts of the government and the public can do a lot to solve the unemployment problem. Effective economic planning is the need of the hour. Natural resources of the country must be developed.

Large scale industrialization and modernization of agriculture on scientific lines will reduce unemployment in the country. Greater attention to the development of agriculture will stop the transfer of rural population to urban areas in search of jobs and reduce the pressure on the cities. Cottage & agro-based industries will create more jobs opportunities for the people and must be enlivened.

The self-employment schemes of the government granting loans to the jobless to start their business are very helpful in solving the problem of unemployment. Unemployment-allowances from the government to the unemployed can save the families from poverty, hunger and disease.

Philanthropist Societies that grant money to the jobless are helpful to some extent in solving this problem but self-respecting men feel degraded to live on charity and want to earn an honest living by honest toil. In Pakistan it is not usually the practice to Philanthropist Societies that grant money to the jobless.

The present education system must be changed to make it purposeful and productive. Technical & scientific education must be encouraged. Promotion of exports is necessary to help reduce unemployment. Vocational & training centers should be set-up.

Measures should be adopted for raising the share of women in employment opportunities in the organized sector. As a result of all these measures for the economic development of the country, the national income of the country will increase along with employment opportunities for an expansion unemployed population in the country.


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