Female labour annual growth much higher than that of males during 2007-11

Female labour annual growth much higher than that of males during 2007-11
Myra Imran
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
From Print Edition
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In Punjab, only 9.46 million females were in the labour force as compared to 24.9 million males during the year 2010-11 but the average annual growth rate of the female labour force was much higher than that of the male labour force which is 8.8 per cent as compared to 2.5 per cent of male during 2007 to 2011.


The interesting dynamics were mentioned in ‘Punjab Employment Trends 2013’ published by the International Labour Organization (ILO). According to the research report, the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of both the 10+ and 15+ populations in Punjab was found above the national average for Pakistan whereas female participation rates are less than half the male participation rates (26.7 per cent vs 69.7 per cent).


In terms of the gender breakup, own account workers make up the highest share (42 per cent) of employed males followed closely by paid employees (40 per cent); while a substantial majority of employed females (60 per cent) are unpaid family workers.


The economically active population or labour force in the province was 34.36 million in 2010-11, up from 30.67 million in 2007-08, showing an annual average growth of four per cent during this three year period.


The reports highlights the fact that the rural labour force forms the backbone of the provincial labour market, accounting for over 70 per cent of the economically active population in Punjab. In line with the overall trends for Pakistan, there exist large gender gaps in labour force participation, although these gender gaps are less pronounced than those observed for the other provinces.


The report suggests that policies for promoting employment generation in the province should focus on improving the productivity of the agricultural work force, through strengthened extension services and higher outlays on agricultural research and development.


The research report terms high and growing share of self-employed in employment as an important characteristic of the provincial labour market, pointing to a deterioration in the productive work dimension of decent work.


It says that another cause for concern is the prevalence of child labour, particularly in the less developed rural areas of the province, which necessitates policy action to improve work under conditions of freedom and suggests the vibrant youth labour market needs special attention from provincial policy makers to harness its full potential. It appreciates the newly developed Punjab Youth Policy 2012 which according to the research envisages a number of useful interventions in this regard.


The livestock sub-sector, in particular, can support higher levels of employment creation through its backward and forward linkages along the production supply chain. In the urban sector, the productivity of household enterprises can be raised by the provision of business support services including developing market linkages, credit facilities and the design and implementation of relevant technical, education and vocational training programmes.


According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the total population of the province of Punjab in 2008 was 90.63 million, which had increased to 97.58 million by 2011, showing an average annual growth of 2.6 per cent during the period 2007-11.


The report says that, the change in the age structure of the labour force due to the ongoing demographic transition in the country has resulted in a ‘youth bulge’. In view of the fact that Pakistan has a relatively large proportion (32 per cent) of uneducated youth, most of whom have little or no vocational and life skills, there is a need to provide for their health, education, and livelihood, and to engage them in activities which convert their latent energy into positive outcomes for the family, community, state and the global community.


In terms of the urban-rural divide, the majority of the population in 2011 resided in rural areas of the province: i.e. nearly 66 million (68 per cent). During the period 2007-11 the annual population growth rate in urban areas was higher (3.04 per cent) than that in the rural areas (2.33 per cent).


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