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The structure of the female employment in Pakistan

Since 1951 to 1980, the average rate of Pakistani population has grown-up three percent per annum. The graph of population in Pakistan has been increasing at the average rate of almost two percent per annum since 2000-01. Either or not population of Pakistan had been growing at the average rate of two percent per annum from 1959 to 1960. During the last fifty years, the population of Pakistan increased from thirty three million to one fifty two point fifty three whereas the Pakistan inducted in the list of seventh most populous country in the world (LFS 2003-04).

Since, Pakistan is on the favourable ending of the population range thus, resultantly an increase in population leads to an increase in labour force as well. This is an evident that Pakistan’s labour force figure of 45.76 million was in 2004 as compared to total labour force figure of 40.49 million in 2000; there is an increase of 5.27 million labour in Pakistan. Elson (1995:1881) gives the example that female heads of families in rural areas may not adopt export crops to the same degree men do because they have bigger direct responsibility for well-being of their children, and for this reason prefer risk loathing.

The labour force surveys is an evident that the women contribution rate in the labor force in Pakistan is the lowest than other world. In accordance with the labour force survey 1996-97, informal sector activities had been incorporated for the first time, the basic labour force participation rate for women in urban areas was only 59%,30 with 53.3% of the urban female workforce being engaged in the formal sector activities (Government of Pakistan 1998d).

The World Bank (1998) named a much higher figure divergent to the low female labour force participation rate in the official statistics (LFS 1996-97). It was estimated that, apart from 4.7% of all women working in the formal sector of the economy, 20.3% of all urban women were working in the informal sector, in which about 69% of the urban workforce were engaged. Evidence from micro level-studies, combined with deductions from the official statistics and more informal research and analyses, suggest a conservative estimate of about 20-30% of the female urban population working in the formal and informal sectors combined. Altogether it is likely that the total female work force in the urban sector (formal and informal) is just under 2.5 million women (fulltime equivalents) including about 2 million in the formal sector (World Bank 1989:29).

In other words, less than one-forth of the urban working women were recorded in the official statistics (Labour Force Survey 1996-97). Anyhow, if we analysis the current record of labour force surveys, we find an encouraging figures. It is crystal clear from the table that the total labour force in Pakistan has increased by 4.38 million in 2004-05 as compared to 2001-02. Similarly, the number of people employed has also registered an increase of 2.87 million (7.4 percent), whereas unemployment has only increased by 0.3 million. This in fact points towards the successful employment generation policies of the present administration of General Musharraf.

According to the recent Labour Force Survey (LFS 2003-04), the overall labour force participation rate (CAR) is 30.41 percent (48.74 percent of males and 11.16 percent of females). CAR was 28.7 percent in 1996-97 increased to 29.4 percent in 1997-98 but later declined to 29 percent in 1999-2000. It has increased to 29.61 percent in 2001-2002 and finally to 30.4 percent in 2003-04. Similarly, RAR was 43 percent in 1996-97, increased. The basic labour force participation rate is defined as the percentage of the persons in labour force in respect to the total population.

The refined labour force participation rate, which is 8.4% for women in Pakistan, is defined as the percentage of persons in the labour force in respect to the population 10 years of age and above. In the Labour Force survey 1994-95, which does not include informal activities, the labour force participation rate for women was 4.97 % (Government of Pakistan 1998b).

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