Rising urbanisation puts pressure on Pakistan’s job market


ISLAMABAD: The huge influx of people from rural areas to cities in Pakistan has put significant pressure on urban infrastructure and the job market, WealthPK reports.
The government needs to join hands with the private sector to ease the pressure by creating job opportunities for youths. The collaboration between the government and private sector will help in creating a supportive environment for young people in the country to get education and training.
Dr Naveed Iftikhar, an urban economist and researcher, told WealthPK search for employment was the main cause of rapid urbanisation in Pakistan. People from rural areas migrate to cities in search of better jobs and high wages.
Despite having a growing urban population, the country has not been able to create enough employment opportunities to meet the needs owing to a lack of investment in job-generating industries.
“This has resulted in a high rate of unemployment, particularly among young people, who are entering the job market for the first time. This lack of job opportunities can also lead to underemployment, where people are forced to perform low-paying and low-skilled jobs, even if they are qualified for better positions,” he said.
Dr Naveed said that the informal economy, which was prevalent in many urban areas in Pakistan, was often characterised by low wages and poor working conditions. “This makes it difficult for individuals in the informal sector to make ends meet, especially as the cost of living continues to rise,” he added.
He said that the government is not able to provide adequate support to the job market. “It is contributing to poverty, social unrest and economic stagnation,” he said.
The expert said that the country is struggling to attract foreign investment. The lack of investment makes it difficult for new businesses to start and for existing ones to expand. “This situation has limited the number of jobs in the country,” he added.
He said that the government and the private sector must work together to create a more supportive environment for creating jobs and providing education and training opportunities to young people. The government needs to chalk out effective policies for investment in new industries and improvement in the education and training system to support business development.
“For a well-functioning society, the government must revamp its policy and channel development through statutory measures and a thoughtful implementation process. However, it is important to note that not all of the benefits of urbanisation are shared equally by different segments of the population. The majority of the urban population in Pakistan consists of low-income and informal workers, who often face poverty, poor working conditions and limited access to basic services,” said Dr Naveed.
He said that the government must invest in infrastructure and services, such as affordable housing, healthcare and education besides supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, which were key drivers of job creation and economic growth. “To make urbanisation a real boon for employment, policymakers will have to address the challenges in the education sector and labour market besides providing basic services to people,” he told WealthPK.