ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan’s unemployment rate slightly went down while the literacy rate improved during the previous fiscal year 2017-18.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday released the Labour Force Survey for fiscal year 2017-18, claiming that unemployment rate stood at 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in the previous year. Meanwhile, the Survey showed that the national literacy rate improved to 62.3 percent in the fiscal year against 60.7 percent in 2014-15 when last Survey was conducted.

According to the survey, the country’s unemployment rate has declined to 5.8 percent in last financial year from 5.9 percent of the last survey. The unemployment rate in females decreased to 8.3 percent from 9 percent. However, the unemployment increased in males from 5 percent to 5.1 percent in the new survey.

In employment, the own account worker ratio has reduced to 34.8 percent in 2017-18 from 36.1 percent. The contributing family worker ratio stood at 21.4 percent, down from 23.8 percent. Meanwhile, the number of employees has increased to 42.4 percent from 38.7 percent. In sector wise, the employment rate in agriculture sector has gone down to 38.5 percent in 2017-18 from 42.3 percent. On the other hand, employment in industry and services sectors has enhanced during previous fiscal year.

However, the government’s estimates of unemployment are much bellowed than the projection of independent economists. Pakistan’s unemployment ratio stands at nine percent as against the official claim of six percent, Hafiz Pasha, an eminent economist, had projected it last month. He said educated youth are mostly not getting jobs and more than seven million youth are idle in the country.

The Labour Force Survey showed that Pakistan’s literacy has improved to 62.3 percent. The rate of illiteracy has stood at 37.7 percent. Literacy rate both in females and males has improved to 51.8 percent from 49.6 percent and to 72.5 percent from 71.6 percent respectively.  Area-wise rates suggest increase in literacy rate both in rural (from 51.9 percent, 53.3 percent) and urban areas (from 76 percent to 76.6 percent). Literacy rate rises in all provinces, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (from 54.1 percent to 55.3 percent), Punjab (from 61.9 percent to 64.7 percent), and Balochistan (from 54.3 percent to 55.5 percent) except in Sindh where marginal decrease is observed from 63 percent to 62.2 percent.

In level of education, the share of ‘No formal education’ trends up from 0.4 percent to 1.6 percent. All categories including Matric, Intermediate and Degree and above seem to be on rise except a sort of decline in the category of below Matric to 37.5 percent from 36.9 percent.

Only 53.5 percent of the country’s people are married while 42.3 percent people never married. The rate of married has increased to 53.5 percent in last fiscal year from 52.6 percent. Similarly, the rate of widowed has increased to 3.9 percent in 2017-18 from 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, the rate of divorced stood at 0.3 percent.

The Survey’s estimates are based on the data of 43,361 sample households enumerated through July 2017 to June 2018. The population of Pakistan as per Population and Housing Census 2017 is estimated at 206.64 million on 1st January 2018.