ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s unemployment rate edged lower to 5.8pc in 2017-18, from 5.9pc three years ago.
However, the unemployment rate for the prime age group of 20-24 years was estimated at 11.56pc during FY18, said a report published by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday.
The age-specific joblessness in this category was reported at 11pc in 2014-15 and 9.2pc in 2013-14.
Since 2014-15, no official estimate was given on the unemployment figures in the country. A senior PBS official told Dawn that the delay in survey for mapping unemployment and labour force participation rate in the country was due to the exercise of population census.
As per the new report, unemployment rate for females fell from 9pc to 8.3pc while for males, it inched up from 5pc to 5.1pc during the comparative period.
The unemployment rate in urban areas decreased from 8pc to 7.2pc while remaining unchanged at 5pc for rural areas.
The age-specific joblessness was even higher in the 25-29 age group, the report said, adding that the average youth employment ratio was over 6.5pc compared to the overall projected unemployment rate of 5.8pc.
The report is based on a countrywide survey of 43,361 households.
The report notes that comparative age-specific unemployment rates of twenties (20-29), early thirties (30-34), later forties (45-49) and early fifties (50-54) are on the rise while that of early teens (10-14), latter thirties (35-39), early forties (40-44), latter fifties (55-59) and sixties plus decreased during the period.
Sex-specific rates show a mixed pattern of change down the age groupings though figures of males are more harmonised with the overall rates as compared to those of females. Joblessness among females is on the higher side for the early 20s to early 30s (20-34), ranging between 15.2pc and 12pc.
The report said that unemployment was estimated at 7.2pc in urban areas and 5pc in rural areas with volume of unemployed persons up by 0.17m to 3.79m in 2017-18, from 3.62m in 2014-15. Area and sex-wise breakdown suggest that changes are more significant in rural areas and for males.
Meanwhile, volume of unemployed increased in Sindh by 0.09m, Punjab 0.07m and KP 0.04m while decreasing by 0.02m in Balochistan. The change is more pronounced in the case of males and urban areas across all provinces.
Similarly, the volume of employed persons grew by 4.29m to 61.71m in 2017-18, from 57.42m in 2014-15. The change is more significant in urban areas posting an increase of 3.39m than rural areas by 0.90mm.
The upsurge is observed in Punjab at a rise of 3m, KP 1.08m and Sindh 0.79m whereas Balochistan declined 0.57m. The national labour force participation rate was reported at 44.3pc with that for 15-19 years at 32.6pc, 20-24 at 52.5pc, 25-29 at 57.1pc and 30-34 at 60.1pc.
Employees constitute the largest group (42.4pc), followed by own account workers (34.8pc), contributing family workers (21.4pc) and employers (1.4pc).
More than one-half female workers toil as contributing family workers (51.9pc) while about eight out of ten males are either own account workers (39.1pc) and employees (42.4pc).
Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2019