Unemployment figures — a joke

June 05, 2010

LONDON: This is with reference to your editorial of June 5 titled ‘Economic turnaround in 2009-10?’ The government’s claim that unemployment stands at 5.5 per cent seems a bit of a joke. We still do not have accurate figures on the size of the country’s population and the total labour force. At 5.5 per cent unemployment Pakistan would be ahead of most G7 nations and many East Asian economies. When figures such as these are presented, the government should not be surprised when multilateral organisations such as the IMF, World Bank or the ADB question our data.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 6th, 2010.


Meekal Ahmed | 12 years ago | Reply You have made a good point. I said something similar somewhere. The Labor Force Survey in Pakistan is a complete farce and a waste of government money. It is insulting to the intelligence of even the "common man" who may not know much economics but has good intuition. At 5.5%, we have an unemployment rate that is half of what it is in the US leave alone the other G-7 or Asian countries. The under-employment rate is probably 20% and millions have withdrawn from the labor force because there are no jobs to be had. As for questioning the data, whether it is the national accounts or the LF Survey, I have been admonished by economists in Pakistan who point with great pride to the fact that the bilateral and multi-lateral donors (and even the rating agencies) ENDORSE them. Otherwise they wound not give us all that money and rate our debt highly. Go figure.
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