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Punjab’s Unemployment Rate is 6.69%: Gallup Pakistan and PRIDE

Research conducted by Gallup Pakistan and PRIDE, using data from the Labour Force Survey 2020-21, shows that the overall unemployment rate of youth in Punjab is 6.69 percent.

The overall unemployment rate in the Punjab province is 6.69 percent, with the unemployment rate of females being substantially higher than males (8.32 percent vs. 6.06 percent) and that of urban residents being relatively higher than the rate for their rural counterparts (7.94 percent vs. 6.11 percent).

The analysis of the division-wise youth unemployment rate in Punjab shows that the overall youth unemployment rate varies from as low as 4.45 percent for the Bahawalpur division to as high as 17.78 percent for the Rawalpindi Division.

The distribution of unemployed youth by the level of education indicates that youth having an education level of ‘matric but below Intermediate’, make up the highest proportion of unemployed youth at 20.01 percent, while youth having ‘less than one year of education’ comprises the lowest share of unemployed youth at 0.39 percent.

23.52 percent of unemployed female youth in Punjab have a Master’s level degree. This share is over 7 times higher than the corresponding share of unemployed male youth (around 3% of unemployed males have a Master’s degree).

The research analysis shows that the Lahore division has the highest population (20.7 million) in Punjab province, whereas the Sahiwal division has the lowest population at 7.9 million. Gujranwala division has the highest rural population of 10.9 million, and the Lahore division has the highest urban population of 14.4 million in the province.

Pakistan benefiting from the youth bulge has a large young population. Analysis reveals that in Punjab alone, there are 31 million youngsters aged (18-29). The youth population of Punjab alone is equivalent to the entire population size of Canada.

Youth unemployment refers to the number of youth (15-29 years old) population that are economically active but currently without work and are in search of employment. This measure does not include people such as full-time students or those who are not looking for work, i.e., those who are considered economically inactive individuals. This indicator serves as a measure of potential youth labour market entrants that remain under-utilized.

Gallup Pakistan & PRIDE have joined hands to analyze and disseminate useful and policy-relevant economic and social data for wider policy circles in Pakistan.

Bilal Gilani, Executive Director at Gallup Pakistan, said that the study’s most alarming finding is that a higher share of educated youth are unemployed compared to their lesser-educated counterparts. Education is seen to be not delivering dividends, would lead to people dropping off from the education stream, and the vast pool of educated urban youth could also cause social issues (if not already causing one).

Dr Lubna Shahnaz, CEO at PRIDE stated, “Labour force statistics usually available at national or provincial level do not adequately capture labour market dynamics across different regions even within a particular province.

More disaggregated statistics at the divisional level would enable a more in-depth examination of the labour market situation and facilitate in the development of relevant policies and programs at a grassroots level”.

The current series of Reports would be looking at the Labour Force Survey 2020-21 which is a large-scale survey covering close to 100,000 households, conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

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