Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) reported that over 31 per cent of Pakistan's youth are currently unemployed and of this figure, 51 per cent are females, while 16 per cent are males, with many of them holding professional degrees.
Federico Giuliani, writing in Insideover said that the poor state of Pakistan's economy, which suffered in the aftermath of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was compounded by inefficient economic administration by the PTI government under PM Imran Khan.
The PIDE report reveals that a large part of the working-age group is not even part of the labour force. These people are either discouraged workers or have other means of income to support them, the report stated.
Pakistan's economy faces multiple challenges today. The first is the current account deficit, followed by fiscal imbalance. Low agricultural productivity and industrial output come next in that order and finally comes, the flawed structure of the political economy, said Giuliani.
The current account deficit has officially reached 5.3 per cent of GDP. Fiscal imbalance is expected to rise to 8.2 per cent of GDP. Cooking oil prices have gone up 130 times since Imran Khan took over as Prime Minister and the cost of fuel has gone up 45 times to PKR 145 a litre in a year. The Pakistani rupee has also taken a pounding, losing 12 per cent to the dollar since July 2021. Thus, to put it mildly, the economy is virtually bankrupt.
Last year, PIDE told the Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development that 40 per cent of educated (undergraduate or graduate) women were also unemployed countrywide. PIDE studies (in 2021) also showed that the unemployment rate in Pakistan had reached 16 per cent, which was contradictory to claims of it being 6.5 per cent put forth by the Imran Khan-led government, reported Insideover.
Experience shows that jobless people could be dangerous to Pakistan's well-being. Writing in Pakistan Today, Zoha Aziz warned that unemployed youth of Pakistan are getting frustrated and falling prey to drug addiction, theft, violence, and many other social harms. More ominously, terrorists, drug traffickers and smugglers are engaging them in evil activities.
Another negative effect of unemployment is people getting depressed. According to statistics, 136 people committed suicide in Pakistan last year, just because they were unemployed.
That unemployment is so high in Pakistan demonstrates the inability of the leadership to effectively address the underlying causes for the problem.
That is perhaps why the opposition in Pakistan is planning to move a no-confidence motion against PM Khan, said Giuliani.
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