Pakistanis Will Lose 1.4 Million to 18.5 Million Jobs Due to COVID-19

Thousands of Pakistanis are struggling for theie lives, while millions skilled and unskilled labour have lost their jobs due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

According to Economic Survey citing estimates of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), the COVID-19 pandemic can have an adverse impact on employment generation during the last quarter of 2019-20.

In case of limited restrictions, about 1.4 million jobs will be lost, under moderate restrictions employment loss could reach 12.3 million, and 18.53 million people will be unemployed in case of a complete shutdown.

Not only have people in Pakistan become unemployed but the overseas workers have also been fired in various countries due to the lockdown and economic slowdown.

State Bank of Pakistan introduced a scheme for corporations to prevent massive layoffs in the country, which received an overwhelming response from over 2,000 companies. Under the scheme, the central bank provides easy loans to these companies to pay them salaries avoiding the sacking of the employees due to lockdown and slowdown in business activities.

More than 1.2 million jobs are being saved thanks to the scheme.

The prevailing situation is also disappointing for the workforce that is ready to enter into the job market with very limited work and business opportunities are available for them at present.

According to the Labour Force Survey 2017-18 the total labor force was 65.5 million, while the unemployment rate was 5.8 percent. According to that survey, the highest unemployment (11.56 percent) was prevalent among the ages 20-24 indicating youth unemployment.

The survey said 61.4 percent of the population falls in the age group 15-64 while 12.1 percent of the population is between the ages of 0-4 years and 22.1 percent is between 5-14 years. If this demographic dividend is harnessed and equipped with desired skills to meet domestic and international market requirements, the youth bulge would yield increased industrial productivity and higher foreign remittances in the future.