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Problem of Unemployment In Pakistan


Unemployment is one of the persistent social problems confronting the land of the pure. Fluctuations in the overall unemployment rate have been there but the issue has never been resolved fully by adopting innovative approach and thoughtful manhandling of the country’s huge labour force.

Unemployment – An Economic Indicator

Unemployment is an economic indicator. Unemployment occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work. Unemployed persons are those who are able and/or willing to work but don’t get a job.

The BLS defines unemployment very specifically and describes three qualities of unemployed persons:

  1. They aren’t working, even part-time or temporary.
  2. They are available to work.
  3. They actively looked for work in the past four weeks.

Types of Unemployment

Rate of Unemployment in Pakistan

The unemployment rate of a country represents the share of people without a job in the country’s labor force. The unemployment rate in Pakistan is 4.45 percent according to Statista.

The number of unemployed people in the country has been estimated to reach 6.65 million during the fiscal year 2020-21, compared to 5.80m of the outgoing financial year. According to the Labour Force Survey 2017-18, the unemployment rate for the next year (2020-21) has been estimated at 9.56 percent.

The unemployment rate among degree-holders is almost three times higher than the other overall unemployed people. Similarly, the gender-based difference of unemployment, according to Labour Force Survey 2017-18, shows a higher rate among the female than the male — 8.27pc and 5.07pc, respectively.

Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world with a population of 207.74 million. Given the current rate of population growth, it is estimated to reach 280m by 2030.

Pakistan was already passing through the fiscal constraints even before the onset of COVID-19 health and economic challenges.  Pakistan’s Finance Ministry says that an estimated 3 million people associated with the industrial and services sectors of the country are expected to lose their jobs, and the poverty level could rise to 33.5 percent from the current 24.3 percent due to the pandemic.

Causes of Unemployment in Pakistan 

  • Mismanagement of available resources
  • Lack of skilled labour
  • Production of job seekers by the educational institutions rather than entrepreneurs
  • Concentration of wealth in the hands of few
  • Lack of meritocracy
  • Crisis of pandemic
  • Lack of industrialised economy
  • Low foreign direct investment

Practicable Solutions

Some of the practicable solutions to improve employment opportunities are as follows:

  • Providing education and training
  • Skill development of youth
  • Improving border relations and trade relations with neighboring countries.
  • Reducing the cost of doing business
  • Better utilization of regional organizations like ECO, SCO, and SAARC to improve employment opportunities.
  • Promoting small scale businesses.
  • Promoting startups and career counseling
  • Utilizing the full potential of the agriculture sector
  • Improving the ease of doing business
  • Shifting of the economy towards the industrial sector
  • Ensuring the just distribution of resources
  • Due payment of royalty to resource-rich areas.

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