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International Labor Organization Warns: Million more people will become unemployed in 2018; Pakistan’s jobless rate on the rise

International Labor Organization Warns : Million more people will become unemployed in 2018; Pakistan’s jobless rate on the rise

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has warned that the growth rate of the available work force shall exceed the rate of job creation. Million more people will become unemployed in 2018. A further increase to the figures carried over from 2016 to 2017, a period in which the ILO has estimated that the global unemployment  rate will rise from 5.7 to 5.8 percent.

The increase in unemployment levels in 2017 is caused by the deterioration of labor market conditions in emerging countries. The effects of various deep recessions that took place in 2016 have affected and will continue to affect the current labor markets, according to the report titled ‘World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017‘(WESO) prepared by the ILO.

It explains that Latin America and Caribbean countries are faring badly, especially Brazil. Their unemployment rate has increased by 0.3 percent in 2017, reaching 8.4 percent. Sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand, has recorded their lowest employment growth rate in two decades. Both regions are also facing a strong increase in the number of working-age individuals.

In emerging countries, the unemployment rate is also expected to rise from 5.6 to 5.7 percent, resulting in 3.6 million more unemployed people. Developing countries also present the same situation. Their unemployment levels are expected to be around 5.5 percent in 2017 and 2018, which implies 450,000 more unemployed people. On the other hand, unemployment is expected to fall from 6.3 to 6.2 percent this year in developed countries, resulting in 670,000 fewer unemployed.

In Europe, especially in Northern, Southern and Western Europe, the number of people out of work will continue to decline, although the pace of this decline will slow down .The ILO sees signs that structural unemployment is getting worse. The same situation shall occur in the United States and Canada.

Pakistan’s position

Economic growth has picked up in Pakistan to respectable levels but is still unable to absorb the rising number of job-seekers entering the labor market. The unemployment  in Pakistan is on the rise, depriving a large part of the population of its livelihood and preventing the harnessing of the real potential of both manpower and natural resources for development.

unemployment  in Pakistan rate remained unchanged at 5.90 percent in 2016 from 5.90 percent in 2015. unemployment rate in Pakistan averaged 5.47 percent from 1985 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 7.80 percent in 2002 and a record low of 3.10 percent in 1987.

According to the latest short-term IMF forecast, Pakistan’s economy will grow at 5 percent in fiscal year 2017 and 5.2 percent in fiscal year 2018. The Fund also projects a slight increase in unemployment ratio from the current 6 percent to 6.1 percent in the next fiscal year. This ratio was 5.9 percent in fiscal year 2015, much higher than the 5 percent considered by economists as ‘full employment’.

Pakistan has the second highest surge of population, which comes under the section of youth. According to the current condition of Pakistan, almost every adolescent endorses the fact that is afflicted by sheer joblessness.

Pakistan scores 0.63 on the common wealth youth development and slating in 22nd position out of 54 countries. In addition, youth unemployment rate varies 9.90 percent according to the labor statistic. The youth in Pakistan is truly inclined towards the government jobs, because of their benefits and accountability, but due to lack of availability and personal bias, most of the deserved individuals do not get these jobs. The other reason behind surplus in unemployment rate is the privatization process of government institutions. This shows that youth development is becoming a serious challenge which needs to be addressed. Many literate youth are forced to do ordinary jobs, because they have a responsibility to feed their families.

It is requested that government and private sectors put their focus on this foremost issue of Pakistan. In this context they will able to identify the real culprit against this misery and take initiatives to counter this menace.



Economists say that Pakistan needs a growth rate of 7-8 percent on a sustained basis to absorb the increasing number of jobless and clear the backlog. This is not easy. Much depends on the quality of growth that may or may not produce enough jobs. Capital-intensive spending, like high tech, creates jobs for highly skilled people but squeezes the space for the blue-collared jobs.

Corporates’ flexible labor policy increasingly denies a life-time career to skilled manpower. Costs are cut by outsourcing ancillary activities or by using contract labour in factories.

Forecasters continue to revise their 2017. predictions downwards and uncertainty about the global economy persists, generating worry among experts that the economy will be unable to employ a sufficient number of people and that growth will not lead to inclusive and shared benefits.

According to a Gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by Gallup and Gilani Pakistan, more than half Pakistanis (57 percent) opine that unemployment raises crime rate in the society.

A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked “In your opinion what is the impact of unemployment on the society?” Responding to this, 57 percent said increase in crime, 43 percent said delayed marriages, 39 percent said lack of law and order, 36 percent said it resulted in search for employment opportunities abroad and 35 percent said increase in poverty.

The 1.4 billion people who are employed in vulnerable working conditions are not expected to decrease. That number represents 42 percent of all employment for 2017.

“Almost one in two workers in emerging countries are in vulnerable forms of employment, rising to more than four in five workers in developing countries,” Steven Tobin, ILO Senior Economist and lead author of the report, said.

If a reasonably good economic growth rate does not produce enough jobs. it is time to review economic policies to remedy the situation

Underemployment and joblessness is rampant especially in rural areas leading to migration to ill-planned and over-crowded cities. Often academic qualifications and skills development do not match the changing market demand.

Human resource development is a low priority when fresh ideas and the latest technology are shaping new economic activities and trends unemployment in Pakistan  is turning into a critical issue, also because of increasing global curbs on workers’ immigration. And a job-centred development strategy appears nowhere in sight.

For the common citizen job alone is not the only problem. A higher economic growth fuels inflation and raises the cost of living. Most people can’t make a comfortable living if their incomes do not rise commensurately; just to maintain the level of inflation-adjusted real wages from falling.

The rising inflation rates are likely to build a case for hiking interest rates and raise cost of commodity production on account of increased financial charges. This would mean more inflation and hence, greater suffering for low-income groups.

No doubt in Pakistan the CPEC will help makes the domestic economy somewhat robust and stronger while many businesses will flourish. It will also spur regional cooperation but create more temporary jobs than permanent ones. The common citizen largely has to fend for his own livelihood.

Unable to provide as many jobs as needed, the government takes pride in significantly increasing the amount and the number of poor who receive dole-outs from the national exchequer. People had never challenged inequality as much as they had inequity or injustice. If a reasonably good economic growth rate does not produce enough jobs, it is time to review economic policies to remedy the situation.

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