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How to overcome unemployment rate in Pakistan?

Published on 24th Feb, Edition 8, 2014


Unemployment is a major problem of Pakistan because when unemployment is high, resources are squandered and citizens incomes are depressed; during such phases, economics distress spills over to affect common man lives and people’s emotions. The socio economic system of the country and institutions has failed to offer employment to the rising labor force.

The country has the 9th largest labor force in the world. The total labor force in Pakistan was 57.24 million, according to the labor force survey 2010-11. Out of this labor force, 53.84 million people are employed and 3.40 million people are unemployed. However unemployment rate declined marginally from 7.7 percent in FY2003-04 to 5.9 percent during FY2010-11. The volume of unemployed persons as a whole rose from 3.12 million in FY2009-10 to 3.40 million in FY2010-11. The number of unemployed people recorded fall in rural area from 1.89 million (FY2009-10) to 1.85 million in FY2010-11. In urban area the numbers of unemployed people were rose from 1.23 million (FY2009-10) to 1.55 million in FY2010-11. The number of unemployed people in Sindh had risen from 0.57 million in FY2009-10 to 0.70 million in FY2010-11 while in KPK a decline in unemployment had been observed because of well presentation of government in terms of job provision. However, in Balochistan number of unemployed people were rose from 0.06 million (FY2009-10) to 0.70 million in FY2010-11.

Pakistan was one of the countries in which the market performance and labor quality actually improved as compared to countries like India and Mexico. The Global Employment Trends report said that the unemployment rate will likely to increase 5.29 percent in Pakistan during 2014.

Generally in South Asia, labor markets continued to suffer from high rates of informal, agricultural employment where jobs are badly paid and unprotected. Local issues and political instability in the country dampened growth, whereas GDP increased in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India’s unemployment report has also been expected to stay constant at 3.8 percent. Compared to 2012′s numbers (5.04 percent for Pakistan and 3.58 percent for India), unemployment has risen in both countries. In South-East Asia and the Pacific, employment grew by 1.6 percent in 2013 and is projected to outpace expansion in the working age population in the coming years.

Pakistan made it to the lower-middle-economies list, with about 55 percent of its population earning below $2 or 43 percent earning between $2 and $6 and the remaining earning between $6 and $20 per day.

Economic packages

Economic revival multiple packages should be announced by the government for the revival of industries and agriculture sector to stimulate production and foreign direct investment. Government should seriously try to increase exports and decrease imports through broadening the tax base and lowering tariffs.


A number of fiscal and monetary steps should take to attract industrialists and chiefly foreign investment. Presently, the government is offering policy rate at 10 percent in view of inflationary pressures, which should be stable at 6 to 7 percent.


Micro Credit facilities

SME Bank has been organized to give financial assistance and business support to small and medium enterprises. SME Bank has disbursed loans amounting to Rs10,206 million and 41,587 persons have been advantaged from this financial assistance. SME Bank can take particular measures to increase SMEs for employment generation in the coming financial years.

Self-employment schemes

Self-employment scheme should be encouraged in true manners. During the year 2010-11, 30,000 internship were planned by the government under the National Internship Program (NIP), out of which 22,757 (76 percent) fresh graduates were connected in various government departments. NIP has given internships to 85,000 young citizens with an attractive monthly stipend of Rs10,000. Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans will effectively generate business and employment opportunities.

Pakistan skilling program

More vocational and technical training facilities should be offered. In this way unemployed citizens will get the chance to increase their skills and become able to get reasonable income. National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) is giving Rs2000/- monthly to each trainee during the training course. Presently, 1,522 technical centers with enrollment of 314,188 are working in Pakistan and giving technical skills to the labor force. It is also being planned to create 1.0 million skilled labor forces yearly. Five Skill Development Councils (SDCs) have also been organized to fulfill the diversified training requirements of the commercial and industrial sectors and have so far trained greater than 50,000 workers.

Information Technology

The development of IT/telecom sector has produced huge employment opportunities, directly or indirectly, for skilled unemployed in a wide range of areas such as telecom engineering, telecom sales, call centers, customer services and finance and accounting.


No doubt, Pakistan has a wide-spread unemployment rate. Thousands of educated graduates don’t have job. Hundreds of thousands of unemployed citizens are forced to lead their lives below their status. Large scale unemployment has severe effects on the country’s production also. Pakistan’s future also relies partially on the overall situation in the rest of South Asia and creating jobs would be difficult for the government in 2014, but still government can make better policies and take right steps for offering opportunities.


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