ISLAMABAD: The PTI government created 5.5 million jobs in its first three years of power — or 1.84m annually — compared to 5.7m employment opportunities created during the entire five-year term of the PML-N government, according to the latest Labour Force Survey.

As many as 3.22 million jobs were created during the past two years despite an onslaught of Covid-19, thanks mainly to government interventions in productive sectors of the economy, including agriculture, industries and construction, the survey said.

The survey, released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), showed that the number of employed people in the country rose from 64.03m in 2018-19 to 67.25m in 2020-21 — an addition of 1.61m people to the labour force per year.

At the same time, the number of unemployed people dropped by 200,000 from 4.71m in 2018-19 to 4.51m in 2020-21.

5.5 million jobs created in three years despite Covid-19 pandemic

According to the International Labour Organisation, labour force surveys are one of the primary national household surveys conducted by countries. They are designed to produce official national statistics on the labour force, employment and unemployment for monitoring and planning purposes.

The 2017-18 survey reported a figure of 61.75m jobs in Pakistan. This number has increased to 67.25m in the 2020-21 survey, indicating an increase of 5.5m jobs over the three years.

The PBS has prepared the report after conducting surveys across the country, including the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In all, 99,904 households were surveyed in rural and urban areas. Ahead of the release of the survey, Planning Minister Asad Umar told a media briefing that the PTI government had created over 5.5m jobs since coming to power in 2018.

As per the survey, as many as 5.5m new jobs were created in previous three years of the PTI government compared to 5.7m jobs created during the entire five-year term of the PML-N government.

Besides, 1.1m people went abroad for employment through the immigration bureau, Mr Umar said.

He said employment rate in the present government’s tenure had jumped 62pc compared to the previous government.

Before coming to power, Prime Minister Imran Khan promised to create 10m jobs — a claim described as impossible by some media persons and political leaders, Mr Umar said, adding that the survey had proved that the target was quite achievable in five years.

“If the present policies and the direction set by PTI government continued in the coming years, I believe that we will go very near to the 10m jobs target in five years,” he said. The minister said that during the PML-N government, some 720,000 people lost their jobs in the agriculture sector; on the other hand, around 1.42m new jobs were created in the sector in three years of the PTI government.

In the industrial sector, the present government has created 2.4m jobs compared to 2.08m employment opportunities created during the 2013-18 period.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2022

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