Shrinking job market, inflation irk consumers

Informal survey reveals these can lead to social unrest.

Imran Rana December 14, 2011

FAISALABAD: Shrinking job market and rising inflation has irked the consumers of Faisalabad that could lead to social unrest as thousands of people are being unemployed every year.

An informal survey conducted by The Express Tribune revealed that frustration is rising because of increasing economic disparity and rising living cost, which can lead to social unrest.

Most of the people said that when they go to the market to buy food, they find it hard to get the required quantity - with quality - in their limited income. Similarly, the ratio of consumable goods is declining every month due to high prices.

Prof Dr Ali Raza predicted that next year there will be further decline in incomes of people due to the prevailing conditions, but prices of essential items are expected to continue to increase. He said the prices of essential items were soaring due to the periodical increase in the rate of fuel and electricity.

The rise in food prices always brings immense profits for agribusiness and entrepreneurs but countless suffering for millions of ordinary people who cannot afford it, said a consumer Tasleem Ahmad. The prices of wheat, rice, sugar and tea have increased manifold during the last three years, which a low-income person cannot afford, he added.

Gas load-shedding has forced the closure of many textile units, rendering thousands of daily wages workers jobless, said Ajmal Kamal, a worker in the textile industry. He claimed that during the last three years more than 500,000 workers have lost their jobs in Faisalabad. He added that the current decision of four days gas load shedding will further render thousands of workers jobless, causing trouble in their daily lives.

Consumers also said that over the last three years, the middle-income people have slipped in to low income category, due to inflation and unemployment.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2011.



Meekal Ahmed | 9 years ago | Reply

The results of the survey should not come as a surprise -- although there is probably some exaggeration in the views put forward.

Inflation is a curse and needs to be contained both by supply-side and demand-side policies. We are doing neither.

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