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

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.

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