Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Unemployment rate rises in Sindh

Unemployment rate declines to 7.7 per cent
By Sabihuddin Ghausi (March 22, 2005)
KARACHI, March 21: The national unemployment rate has come down from 8.3 per cent in 01-02 to 7.7 per cent in 02-03 but employment opportunities in Sindh and Balochistan has shrunk during these two years , reveals the State Bank second quarterly report for 2004-05 released on Monday. The report quotes Labour Force Survey 04, which shows 41.8 million persons were employed in 03-04 as compared to 38.9 million in 01-02. "The economy added 2.9 million new jobs during two years period," the report points out. Of these additional jobs, 1.5m went to males and 1.4 million to females. The province wise employment data, however, presents a disturbing trend in Sindh where unemployment ratio went up from 5.2 per cent in 01-02 to 5.97 per cent in 02-03. In Blochistan too, the unemployment ratio went up to 8.19 per cent in 03 against 7.76 per cent in 02. The report attributes rise in unemployment ratio in Sindh "mainly to relatively higher increase in labour force." But is quiet as to how labour force in Sindh has increased. Obviously, the labour migration from Punjab to Sindh continues unabated as is evident from a decline of 1.14 per cent unemployment in Punjab. "It was only Punjab province that saw a major decline of 1.14 percentage points in unemployment rates," the report says while pointing out that since 60pc of the country's labour force is in Punjab, the improvement in unemployment rate in Punjab gives the impression of overall improvement. In case of Sindh, the unemployment rate has increased in both the urban and rural areas. But in other provinces the unemployment rates in rural areas declined more rapidly than urban areas. According to the report, the decline in unemployment rates looks even more attractive as it has taken place in face of an increase in national labour force from 42.4m to 45.2m. The agriculture sector created the highest number of 1.6 million new jobs. The report has also made a gender wise comparison, which reveals female employment has improved in all the four provinces. The urban female employment has shown a more pronounced improvement. Punjab holds 82 per cent of the total rural female force. A vast majority of female labour force is employed as unpaid family helpers. The data of major occupational groups reveal that female labour is concentrated in agriculture and fishery sectors.


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