The labour force is expected to grow by 3.5% during the ongoing fiscal year (2012-13) according to government projections made keeping in view average population growth rates and increases in labour force participation.
Projected growth in the labour force indicates that approximately two million new jobs will be demanded during fiscal 2012-13.
As prevailing employment elasticity is 0.5, approximately 7% GDP growth will be required to absorb the growing labour force and to maintain unemployment at 2011-12 levels, official documents reveal. Meanwhile, GDP growth for fiscal 2012-13 has been projected at 4.3% in the budget.
To counter unemployment pressures, the federal government has initiated a number of programmes to increase employment through effective human resource development, says the document.
These programmes include the National Internship Program; President’s Rozgar Program; credit for self employment provided by the National Bank of Pakistan; enhancement of residential facilities by construction of one million housing units; doubling of lady health workers to cover katchi abadis; raising of minimum wage and pensions of workers; establishment of the National Vocational Technical Training Commission; the Benazir Income Support Programme; and restoration of trade unions.
Furthermore, the government – along with employers’ and workers’ representatives – is implementing a “Decent Work Country Programme” in all provinces with technical support from the International Labour Organization.
The main objectives of the programmes include promotion of decent employment in which international labour standards and workers’ fundamental rights go hand-in-hand with job creation.
The programme also aims to place employment at the centre of economic and social policies at the global, regional and national level; improve the lives of millions of people who are either unemployed or whose remuneration from work is inadequate; and provide them and their families the opportunity to escape poverty through the creation of productive employment.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2012.
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