Labour Market Dynamics in Pakistan: Evidence from the Longitudinal Data

The bulk of research on labour market conditions in Pakistan has concentrated on the economic activity rate, the number of employed persons, or the unemployment rate at a particular point in time. These stock measures of labour market situation are useful from a policy viewpoint as they give a broad indication of the dimension of the problem. For example, the recent labour force surveys show an increase in the level of open unemployment from 5.9 percent in 1997-98 to 7.8 percent in 1999-2000 [Pakistan (2001)]. There is also an emerging consensus that during the 1990s poverty has increased at the national as well as for rural and urban areas of the country [Qureshi and Arif (2001)]. Labour market is considered as the main route for establishing the link between macro policies, the resulting GDP growth and poverty alleviation [Rahman (2002)]. Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (IPRSP) and other development plans have suggested various targets of employment creation for poverty reduction.