ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s growth rate is highly non-inclusive as despite achieving higher growth figures in last five years under PML-N-led regime it remains jobless and joyless growth compared to the low growth trajectory under PPP-led regime where it creates more jobs, it is learnt.
This interesting debate has triggered at a time when the PTI-led regime is eyeing to generate 10 million jobs during its five-year rule.
The economists argued that the government would have to ensure targeted interventions and explore possibilities for sending skilled workforce abroad to achieve its desired objectives.
The multilateral lenders including the IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank are projecting lowest growth and higher inflation that might plunge the country into stagflation with possibility of increased poverty and unemployment.
The release of latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) for 2017-18 has triggered some interesting debate among the economists over the linkages between higher growth and job creation as many economists termed inclusive growth for providing more job opportunities. But, the non-inclusive growth has no linkages between growth and job opportunities.
The official data shows that the GDP growth on average during the PML-N-led regime from fiscal year 2013-14 to 2018 stood at 4.7 percent in last five years but it created jobs to the tune of 5.7 million under their rule. The growth rate had remained on the lowest ebb during the last PPP-led regime from 2008 to 2012-13 and stood at average at 2.8 percent during this period. It created 6.9 million jobs during this period.
Despite achieving higher average growth rate of 4.7 percent from 2013 to 2018, the PML-N has generated 1.2 million less jobs as the PPP achieved average growth rate of 2.8 percent in previous five years but it generated 6.9 million jobs.
When the economists analysed the data of LFS for last 10 years it showed that the crude participation rate into LFS for 2017-18 stood at 31.7 percent while it was 32.3 percent in 2014-15 and 32.9 percent in 2013-14. If the participation rate remained on higher side in 2017-18 on the pattern of 2013-14, the unemployment rate might have gone up to 9.2 percent.
If this participation rate had stood at level of 2014-15 during the financial year 2017-18, the unemployment might stand at 7.5 percent. The official findings of LFS shows that Pakistan’s unemployment rate stood at 5.8 percent in 2017-18, from 5.9 percent three years ago.
Adnan Haider, Professor and Economist said that the unemployment among educated youth was on much higher side compared to uneducated youth. He said that it must be alarming for the policy makers to take corrective steps to ensure job provision for bulk of youth entering into market with hopes.
When this scribe sought views of different economists, they said that the agriculture sector had performed well during the PPP-led regime that possessed spillover impact on the job creation objectives. To a question regarding PTI plan to create 10 million jobs in five years, they said that the origin of growth would be most important aspect to achieve the ambitious goals but if they did not focus, millions could lose their existing jobs with threat of stagflation.