Trend of Rural Employment and Wages in Pakistan

M. Ghaffar Chaudhry, Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry


Trends in rural employment and wages are important in a number
of ways. For example, a steady growth of job opportunities is a
precondition for productive employment of labour force under rapid
growth of population. Rising real wages of the working class would be
essential for incessant improvements ih the standard of living of the
masses. Lack of sufficient employment opportunities in rural areas
together with the consequent stagnating (even declining) wages may be a
potential cause of mass movement of rural labour to urban areas and
attendant formidable economy-wide problems. Similarly, aggregate growth
rates of employment and wages in contrast with those in productive
sectors have an important bearing on trends in income distribution and
poverty. Rapid growth of population, predominance of rural sector and a
general lack of studies on rural labour market conditions in less
developed countries, including Pakistan, call for a study such as the
present one, which explores the trends of rural employment and wages in
Pakistan. The paper carries four sections. Section 1 surveys the present
state of the rural labour market. Section 2 reports trends in rural
employment and discusses the various factors underlying those trends.
Employment situation being the basic determinant, wage trends,
especially those in agriculture, are highlighted in Section 3. Section 4
summarises the findings of the study and in their light makes some
policy recommendations.

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