ISLAMABAD: Over 500,000 graduates in Pakistan are unemployed, the Statistics Division told the National Assembly on Wednesday.

In response to a question from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MNA Dr Fouzia Hameed about details of unemployed graduates, the ministry’s written response stated that there were 6,776 graduates in Islamabad are unemployed, of which 3,819 are men and 2,957 are women.

The highest number of unemployed graduates reside in Punjab, where over 310,000 cannot find work. Over 210,000 women and 99,874 men are unemployed graduates, Mr Michael said, adding that Sindh has the second highest number of unemployed graduates at 97,222 – of which 53,673 are men and 43,549 are women.

He said the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) undertakes a Labour Force Survey (LFS) to quantify the size and composition of the labour force in accordance with the education level and standards of classifications of industries and occupations.

Province-wise data to be made available after census results are processed

The province-wise unemployed population, by the number of graduates, was according to the 2014-15 LFS, the response said.

New, province-wise data of the total number of male and female graduates that are unemployed at present will be available once the data collected in the field during the census held in 2017 is processed and the results finalised.

The detailed final results will be available by April 2018, the ministry said, in response to a question.

Over 83,367 graduates are unemployed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – 36,548 men and 46,819 women. In Balochistan, over 11,000 graduates are unemployed.

MNAs said the lack of opportunity for graduates was one of the reasons why Pakistanis were migrating to other countries.

In a written response to a question from PPP MNA Shagufta Jumani on the number of Pakistanis who have immigrated to Europe alone, the interior ministry told the house that 7,537 Pakistanis had left to settle in European countries between 2012 and 2017.

The highest number of Pakistanis immigrated to Europe in 2017, with 2,458 people leaving to settle abroad compared to 223 in 2012.

Over a thousand Pakistanis left for the United Kingdom in 2013, while 904 left for the UK in 2017. Some 570 people left to settle in Italy in 2017, compared to 36 in 2012, and 386 Pakistanis left for Spain in 2017 compared to just two in 2012.

Germany, France, Norway and Denmark are some of the other European countries Pakistanis have emigrated to in the last five years.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2018