Pakistan’s unemployment rate jumped to 6.9 percent in 2018-19, from 5.8 percent in 2017-18, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics’ labour force survey.
The female unemployment rate rose to 10 percent in 2018-19, from 8.3 percent in the prior year, while male unemployment increased to 5.9 percent, from 5.1 percent.
In urban areas, the unemployment rate increased to 7.9 percent in 2018-19, up from 7.2 percent in the previous year, while rural unemployment jumped to 6.4 percent, from 5 percent.
This significant increase in rural unemployment was driven primarily by a sharp rise in female unemployment, to 8.5 percent in 2018-19, from 5.9 percent in the prior year.
Pakistan’s total labour force consisted of 68.73 million individuals in 2018-19, with 64.01 million employed and 4.71 million unemployed. The country’s total working-age population is 153.5 million.
The country’s crude labour force participation rate is 32.1 percent, while its refined labour force participation rate is 44.8 percent.
The average monthly wage was Rs. 21,326, with women earning Rs. 15,461 per month on average, and men earning Rs. 22,172.
The agricultural sector employed the most people in 2018-19, drawing in 39.2 percent of total employment, while the services sector employed 37.8 percent. Meanwhile, the industrial sector took on 23 percent of workers.
The agriculture, forestry, hunting, and fishing sectors saw an increase in employment to 39.2 percent, from 38.5 percent. In addition, employment in construction and community/social services grew to 8 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively.
In contrast, manufacturing employment dropped to 15 percent in 2018-19, from 16.1 percent in the previous year, and wholesale/retail trade employment declined to 14.5 percent from 14.9 percent.
A majority of Pakistan’s labour force was engaged in informal employment in 2018-19, with 72.4 percent of people working in informal sector jobs, while 27.6 percent worked in the formal employment sector.
More than half of female workers are engaged as contributing family workers, 40.2 percent of men are own-account workers.
The survey showed a slight increase in literacy rates in 2018-19, with 62.4 percent of individuals aged 10 years and above classed as literate, up from 62.3 percent in 2017-18. However, the increase was only noted in men, with a rise to 73 percent from 72.5 percent. Literacy rates among women declined to 51.5 percent, as compared to 51.8 percent.