EMPLOYMENT Pakistan’s 2005 population is estimated at 155 million With a participation rate of 33 percent, this translates into a work force of 512 million people The rate of participation is higher in the rural areas than in the urban areas-348 percent as against 298 percent In all, 329 million people are in the work force in the countryside, compared to 183 million in towns and cities The lower rate of participation in the urban areas is the result of the much lower proportion of women working in towns and cities

The number of men in the labor force is estimated at 374 million, or 88 percent of the total work force, while only 15 million women are counted as working or seeking work This means that although 548 percent of men are in the work force, the proportion of women is only 21 percent Agriculture now provides employment to some 24 million people, about 48 percent of the total work force Manufacturing accounts for another 68 million, or 16 percent The remaining 153 million are employed in the service sector As in other poor developing countries, the service sector picks up the workers who cannot find employment in the formal sectors of the economy The same problem can be viewed differently

Large-scale industry and modern enterprises in the service sector employ only 15 million workers, all of them in the urban areas This means that of the nearly 16 million workers in towns and cities, 145 million are employed either in small-scale enterprises or in informal parts of the service sector It is this concentration of the work force in the less productive part of the economy that poses a serious economic and social problem for the country This problem has become more acute in recent years, with a marked slowdown in the growth of the economy The economy is now generating new jobs at a rate that is less than half the rate of growth of the labor force: 14 percent a year compared to 30 percent In the 15-year period between 1975 and 1990, massive outmigration to the Middle East absorbed a large proportion of the work force that could not gainfully be accommodated at home That safety valve is no longer available, which compounds the employment problem


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