Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Educated Unemployed in Pakistan: Estimates of Imbalances in the Current Flows

Author: Sabur Ghayur

The existence of unemployment among educated person in Pakistan, is a cause of serious concern. This phenomenon, besides indicating gross wastages of both men and material inter alia is an undue drain on the economy, as well as having potential for serious socia-political repurcussions. The problems in Karachi, in fact, can also be attributed to a growing unemployment particularly among the educated youth. The problem of educated unemployed, essentially arises due to the malfunctioning of the education and training system. This system is virtually working in isolation, ignoring the requirement of the labour force. In addition to this, other contributing factors can be identified as (i) aspirations of the educated for white collar jobs particularly in the government sector, (ii) poor quality of education, and (iii) absence of an effective labour market information system.’ An interesting thing to observe from the official statistics, particularly the LFSs is the lower unemployment rate – total stock of educated unemployed in 1987-88 was given as less than 200 thousand. 2 Surprisingly, the estimates of educated unemployed range from 5 percent to over 30 percent in different studies of the subject. This renders it almost impossible to have meaningful comparisons and understanding of the issue. The limitations of most of these investigative works are largely due to (i) samples drawn were small and unrepresentative, (ii) sample surveys were mainly based on mailing procedures where a small response level affected the validity of estimates, and (iii) some of the studies were based on data generated by employment exchanges – well known for their limitations.

Sabur Ghayur

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