The working-age population of Pakistan is set to rise to 5 million from the current 4 million by 2035. This increasing number means that Pakistan needs to create an additional 1.3 million jobs on average annually.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in its National Human Development Report (NHDR), told that the additional jobs must be created in the next five years to keep up with the increasing working-age youth.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) statistics, 10.8% of people between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed in Pakistan. All countries in the region including India, Nepal, and Bangladesh except Sri Linka have better employment rates for the stated age.
National Human Development Report
The report gives following statistics about unemployment in Pakistan;
- As of now, there are 3.5 million unemployed individuals in the working-age group.
- At the current rate, Pakistan would need to create 0.9 million jobs every year over the course of next five years.
- 1.3 million people annually will be added in the working-age group in the next five years.
The report adds;
Expanding the formal sector, supporting entrepreneurship, building the human capital of youth and active labour market policies are key instruments to ensure that the required growth is inclusive and sustainable.
If Pakistan fails to create more jobs while focusing on quality of jobs only, the unemployed individuals could reach 43 million by 2050, the report added. So, there needs to be a trade-off between job quality and more employment opportunities so that unemployment can be controlled.
Contribution from Everyone
The report further mentioned that every sector needs to contribute to create more jobs. Here is what it says;
It is also clear that the country’s few urban centres, or any one sector of the economy, cannot create all these jobs. Every sector of the economy and every city, town and village would have to contribute to employment generation to meet the target.
The report identified following sectors where more opportunities could be created by the right investment;
- The agriculture sector: This sector accounts for 42.3% of total jobs in Pakistan. By improving the energy situation and increasing production, more jobs can be created at the farm and non-farm levels.
- The services industry: This industry employs 42.4% of the total labor force of Pakistan. More jobs can be created here by increasing the functionality of its sub-sectors.
- Manufacturing sector: Despite the not-so-ideal law and order situation and energy shortfall, manufacturing sector accounts for 15.3% of the total labor force. By improving the above-mentioned factors, additional jobs can easily be created in the manufacturing area.
- The tourism sector: The sector linked with tourism and hospitality employs 1.6% of the total employed individuals. The tourism in Pakistan is expected to increase in the next few years which means that this area holds great untapped potential.
The report stresses that a clear-cut strategy based on curbing the unemployment is the first step towards creating more jobs.