Rawalpindi division tops in youth unemployment rate

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Research conducted by Gallup Pakistan and PRIDE, using data from the Labour Force Survey 2020-21 shows that the overall unemployment rate of youth in Punjab is 6.69%.

The overall unemployment rate in the Punjab province is 6.69%, with unemployment rate of females being substantially higher than males (8.32% vs. 6.06%) and that of urban residents being relatively higher than the rate for their rural counterparts (7.94% vs. 6.11%). The analysis of division-wise youth unemployment rate in Punjab show that the overall youth unemployment rate varies from a low as 4.45% for Bahawalpur division to as high as 17.78% for Rawalpindi division.

Relevant Read: Dun & Bradstreet and Gallup Pakistan issue Consumer Confidence Index Q4 2021 report

The distribution of unemployed youth by level of education indicates that youth having education level of ‘matric but below Intermediate’, make up the highest proportion of unemployed youth at 20.01%, while youth having ‘less than one year of education’ comprises the lowest share of unemployed youth at 0.39%.

23.52% of unemployed female youth in Punjab have a Masters level degree. This share is over 7 times higher than the corresponding share of unemployed male youth (around 3% unemployed males have a Masters degree).

The research analysis shows that Lahore division has the highest population (20.7 million) in Punjab province, whereas Sahiwal division has the lowest population at 7.9 million. Gujranwala division has the highest rural population of 10.9 million and Lahore division has the highest urban population of 14.4 million in the province. Pakistan benefiting from youth bulge has a large young population. Analysis reveals that in Punjab alone there are 31 million youngsters aged (18-29). The youth population of Punjab alone is equivalent of the entire population size of Canada.

Youth unemployment refers to the number of youth (15-29 years old) population that are economically active but currently without work and are in search of employment. This measure does not include people such as full-time students or those who are not looking for work, i.e., those considered economically inactive individuals. This indicator serves as a measure of potential youth labor market entrants that remain under-utilized.

Gallup Pakistan & PRIDE have joined hands to analyze and disseminate useful and policy relevant economic and social data for wider policy circles in Pakistan.


Bilal Gilani, Executive Director at Gallup Pakistan said that study’s most alarming finding is that a higher share of educated youth are unemployed compared to their lesser educated counterparts. Education if seen to be not delivering dividends would lead to people dropping off from the education stream and the vast pool of educated urban youth could also cause social issues (if not already causing one)’

Dr. Lubna Shahnaz, CEO at PRIDE* informs that ‘Labour force statistics usually available at national or provincial level do not adequately capture labour market dynamics across different regions even within a particular province. More disaggregated statistics at divisional level would enable a more in-depth examination of labour market situation and facilitate in development of relevant policies and programs at a grass roots level.’    

The current series of Reports would be looking at Labour Force Survey 2020-21 which is a large scale survey covering close to 100,000 households, conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

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