Population, Labor Force and Employment by Sectors

Engineering Post Report

The human resource of a country quite obviously plays a vital role not only in the economic development  but also  for the social well being of the people. However,  proper management  of  human resource  can boost  economic performance and reduce  social distress also.

Pakistan’s 5th most populous country in  the world, According to the National Institute  of Population Studies, the estimated population of Pakistan  is 224.78 million in 2021 out of which  82.83 million reside in the urban areas whereas 141.94 million  live in the rural areas  and the population density is 282 per kilometer.

Pakistan has a large labor force that stands among the top 10  largest forces  in the world.  To generate sufficient  employment opportunities for such a large labour force is certainly and surely a big challenge.  In addition to this, skills gap makes it quite difficult  for the individuals  to find  jobs and for the employers to find appropriate  trained workers  for their industries. Skills  development enhances  both the peoples” capacities to work  and their opportunities at work ,offering more scope for creativity and satisfaction at work. The future prosperity  of a country  depends ultimately  on the number of persons  in employment and how  productive they are at work. In Pakistan, skills development  can play a key role in the alleviation of poverty.

The labour force in the country increased from 65.5 million in 2017-18 to 71.76 million in 2020-21 and the number of employed persons accordingly also  increased  from 61.71 million to 67.25 million  during the same period. The unemployment rate  slightly decreased from 6.9 per cent  in 2018-19 to 6.3 per cent in 2020-21 showing that  4.51 million from the labour force could not get job in FY2021.

As regards work force employment sectors, being a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), agriculture plays an important role  in the development of the national economy. According  to the Labour Force Survey 2020-21, the share of employment in the agriculture sector  decreased from 39.2 per cent in 2018-19 to 37.4 per cent  in 2020-21. This sector is the key source  of supply of raw material  to the other  sectors of the economy, especially the industrial sector. The significant  share of employment  from agriculture sector has been shifted to industry and services sector  due to technological  transformation. The services sector is the largest growing sector of the economy and the share of employment in the services sector was 37.2 per cent in 2020-21.

The construction and manufacturing sectors are considered  as major source  of the economic growth and development. Expansion of  these sectors can generate millions of jobs  for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled work force, according to the experts. Further, these sectors also play  an important role in generating income both in the formal and informal sectors.

Share of unemployment in the construction sector as such has increased from 8.0 per cent in 2018-19 to 9.5 per cent in 2020-21. The increase shows  that job opportunities  are being created in the country. Wholesale  and retail trade sector  has also shown 14.4 per cent employment in 2020-21 . The employment level in transport/storage and communication sectors  has remained the same in the period under review whereas the share of employment  in  social and personal service sectors  as the share of employment in community/social & personal service sectors has increased from 14.9 per cent in 2018-19 to 16.0 per cent in 2020-21, the experts maintained on the basis of official data available