Survey silent on job losses

By Aamir Shafaat Khan
Published in Dawn on June 09, 2023

KARACHI: Amid contraction in big industry production, a large number of direct and indirect workers lost jobs mainly in the textile and auto sectors, but Economic Survey FY23 did not reveal anything about a bleak employment scenario during the outgoing fiscal year.

The data, however, presented a rosy picture of the rising employed labour force to 67.25 million in FY21 from 64m in FY19, while data for FY22 and FY23 was also missing.

While giving a satisfying outlook of overseas employment, the survey claims that more than 12.4 million Pakistanis have proceeded abroad for employment in over 50 countries through official procedures as of December 2022.

More than 96pc of Pakistani registered workers for overseas employment are in Gulf Cooperation Council countries especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BE&OE), in 2022 more than 62pc (514,725) of Pakistanis workers moved to Saudi Arabia followed by UAE (15.5pc) for earning their livelihood.

Oman provided jobs to 82,380 (9.9pc) and Qatar accommodated 57,984 (seven per cent) Pakistani workers of different occupations. Bahrain and Malaysia welcomed 13,652 (1.6pc) workers and 6,175 (0.7pc workers, respectively.

The massive development projects in various GCC countries under Vision 2030 created various opportunities for Pakistanis, which are likely to continue in the next few years. During 2022, BE&OE registered 829,549 workers for overseas employment. An overall increasing trend was observed in terms of emigrants registered in 2022 as compared to 2021.

During 2022, workers who proceeded abroad were highest from Punjab (458, 241), followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (224,889), Sindh (59,067), Balochistan (8,013), Azad Kashmir (29,496) and tribal areas (42,152). As a result, the total workers registered for overseas employment swelled to 829,549 in 2022 from 286,548 in 2021.

The Survey, barring Quetta, pointed out increasing daily wages of construction workers in different cities.

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