The Global Employment Trends report issued by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) projected that Pakistan’s unemployment rate — 5.17% in 2013 — is set to rise slightly increase and then remain more or less the same for five more years due to the kind of political unrest plaguing the country.
For 2014, ILO claimed unemployment rate will likely rise to 5.29%.
The report stated that in the fifth year of the global recession, growth across the world decelerated and unemployment started to increase again, leaving an accumulated total of some 197 million people without a job in 2012.
ILO predicts only a slight increase in the unemployment rates of Pakistan. P = projected rates. PHOTO: ILO.ORG
Generally in South Asia, labour markets continued to suffer from high rates of informal, agricultural employment where jobs are poorly paid and unprotected. Domestic problems and political unrest in Pakistan dampened growth, whereas GDP grew in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
India’s unemployment report has also been predicted to stay constant at 3.8%. Compared to 2012’s numbers (5.04% for Pakistan and 3.58% for India), unemployment has increased in both countries.
In South-East Asia and the Pacific, employment expanded by 1.6% in 2013 and is projected to outpace growth in the working age population in the coming years.
A separate World of Work report by the ILO stated that Pakistan was one of the countries in which the market situation and labour quality actually improved as compared to countries like India and Mexico.
Pakistan’s labour productivity grew by 0.94% in 2013. PHOTO: ILO.ORG
Pakistan made it to the lower-middle-economies list, with about 55% of its population earning below $2, 43% earning between $2 and $6 and the remaining earning between $6 and $20 per day.
Pakistan’s uncertain future
Pakistan’s future also relies partly on the overall scenario in the rest of South Asia where, because of the global slowdown, creating jobs should be difficult in 2014. The persistent uncertainty and political unrest implies that Pakistan’s economy may lag behind the progress-oriented countries in South Asia.
India is in the midst of tackling political hurdles and wavering investor sentiment in light of a high current and fiscal deficit. Bangladesh, on the other hand, has been relatively successful in creating jobs, particularly in the garments sector, which helped a large number of females secure jobs.