Unemployment in Pakistan:
The problem of unemployment in our country has become a national problem. It is difficult to estimate the number of people who are unemployed but not counted in official statistics. It has affected educated classes as well as educated masses, machine workers as well as the tillers of the soil.
Broadly speaking, there are three important phases of unemployment in our country. The first and foremost phase of this problem is the countrywide unemployment among the educated class of people. There are thousands graduates in Pakistan for the absorption of which no adequate demand exist. Pale and spectra-thin these white collars passed from street to street tapping at various offices from dawn to dusk only to be told that there is no vacancy.
The second phase of this problem is industrial unemployment. The post-war slump and decontrol, the enforcement of prohibition and heavy taxation, introduction of new mechanical processes and labour saving devices, frequent strikes and lockouts and the cycle of recurring depressions in trade and commerce have resulted in thousands of mill and factory labourers being thrown out of employment.
There is implicit unemployment in agriculture. Those attached with agricultural are seasonally unemployed as the harvest season finish, the period of unemployment starts.
The unemployment problem in Pakistan has become very serious in the recent years. The economic well-being of the country depends greatly upon the solution of the problem of unemployment. Countries like England, France and USA are also facing the problem of unemployment.
Unemployment is a big waste of manpower. It means that while the people are willing to work, they have no work to do. It is a sort of forced idleness. Unemployment is one of the most important reasons of poverty and backwardness in Pakistan
The number of job seekers on the live register of employment exchanges shows an even increasing unemployment. It is also notable that there are no employment exchanges in the rural areas to register the unemployed in the villages. In the rural areas also millions of people are either fully unemployed or semi-unemployed. About 30% population of Pakistan is living below the poverty line.
The reasons for regional inequalities are complex, but one explanation lies in the concentration of particular industries in particular areas. People without skills or qualifications find it more difficult to secure employment, since jobs of the vacancies which exist are for skilled workers. Related to this, manual workers are more likely to be unemployed than non-manual workers.
Consequences of Unemployment:
Common themes in people’s accounts of unemployment are feeling of shame and uselessness. People start to feel that they are on the scrap heap of society and that they have nothing to offer, or that society has no need of their talents and abilities. Unemployment is a social stigma and leads to feeling of inferiority complex and failure. People who are out of work also feel isolated, missing the social life at work and avoiding people out of embarrassment.
Unemployment causes problems for community and for society as a whole as well as for individuals and families. Communities become demoralised by the high proportion of people who are out of work and no employment is available. Poverty also leads to physical deterioration of properties and empty factories or warehouses have a feeling of a no-go area. Commercial and shopping facilities are also affected and big supermarkets are reluctant to open branches in the areas, where people have no money to spend.
The level of crime and vandalism in poor districts may be caused by the unemployment, although this relationship is difficult to prove conclusively. Someone who is unemployed already need not fear losing his job. Unemployed people cannot pay large fines, although obviously they still can be fined. For some young people, there is even a feeling that being sent to prison but not make much difference to their lives. Increased pressure on health and social services and our police means increased costs for society as a whole. The cost to society of such events is immeasurable; although the direct cost of unemployment can be calculated. Unemployment is an issue of national concern and there are initiatives and programs could forward to alleviate the situation.
The causes of unemployment are generally as follows:
- Every census reveals rapid growth of population, both in cities and villages. In fact, population has been growing for the last 25 years all over the world, but Pakistan is the greatest sinner in this respect.
- The educational system is so defective as to render the educated man unfit for useful occupations.
- In an agricultural country like Pakistan, cultivatable land, according to its land laws, is held in tendencies and is controlled by a minority. It becomes so disintegrated to yield useful and profitable means of livelihood for the majority. Owing to purchase, partition, fragmentation and other reasons small holdings impede the progress of large-scale cultivation. The development of towns, cities and industrial centres where many labour saving devices are introduced for critical mass production have resulted in throwing many manual workers out of employment. In certain seasons, for want of subsidiary, occupation to keep them engaged in other fields of activity, agriculturalists have to remain idle. In addition to this majority of adult population, a farmer has no means to eke out his existence.
- In order to tackle the problem of unemployment, among the educated people, radical reforms in the education system are needed. We have to overhaul our educational system from top to bottom in order to fit in with the changing conditions of modern life. The form of class and white-collar job seekers should be permanently eliminated by a system of education, the main emphasis of which should be laid on the side of practical and useful knowledge and information. There should be the closest coordination and integration between our educational institutes and industrial programmes. More rural universities should be established for giving practical and latest training in the art of scientific farming and agriculture to the village folks. All steps should be taken to curb down the tendency of the students to seek employment in overcrowded cities and their dislike to work in villages. They should be made to realise the dignity of labour. It is believed that if education is properly planned and made available to all the citizens of the state, there is no reason why unemployment cannot be combated.
- Industrial development is a solitary hope to relieve us from the miseries of unemployment. There is no lack of manpower, cheap labour, raw material, and mineral resources in our country but it is our misfortune that they are not scientifically used for the benefit of common people. If the water of many rivers that flow uselessly into ocean is used scientifically, not only new industries would be carried by the power of electricity, but also employment will be provided to many hands. We have to plan and exploit our industrial potentiality to the fullest extent to raise the status of the country, and to improve national income and living standard of the masses.
- Along with industrial development there should also be development of our rural cottage industries and native handicraft.
- In order to encourage national industries and the consumption of native goods, the government should change its policy of foreign trade and commerce. Imports of foreign goods in our country should be discouraged as far as possible by imposing heavy exercise duties on them. Our exports of finished goods must be facilitated at all costs to capture the market abroad. As a result of these measures our industries would flourish and employ more skilled and unskilled workers in order to meet the growing demand of the public for their products.
- Above all, the capitalistic system of our society should be replaced by Islamic socialist pattern. The problem of unemployment is inherent in the capitalistic system because the view before the capitalist is not of national welfare part of his personal profit. This however does not mean the nationalisation of industries but plead for vigilance and end of crony capitalism.
Unemployment is a massive social issue in Pakistan which threatens to disrupt the national social fabric of country. It is a major cause of other social problems like poverty, illiteracy, street crime etc. A concerted and coordinated effort of all stakeholders is needed to tackle the menace of unemployment in Pakistan.