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Female employment higher than males’

ISLAMABAD (March 20 2007): The Labour Force Survey (LSF) 2005-06 reveals that male employment declined by a bit, while female employment recorded 2 percent increase. Employment by major industries exhibits share of agriculture and allied activities (43.4 percent) in 2005-06 higher than that of 2003-04 (43.1 percent).

As for non-agriculture, manufacturing (13.7 percent Vs 13.8 percent) and construction (5.8 percent Vs 6.1 percent) scale up. The level of employment in other activities was more or less same.

The survey reporting on unemployment rate says that it decreases from 7.7 percent in 2003-04 to 6.2 percent in 2005-06, steeper for women (13 percent Vs 9 percent) than men (6.6 percent Vs 5.4 percent) evenly across the areas but, age-specific rates for teens to early fifties experience decline, again more for women than men. However, the rates for latter fifties and beyond scale up, due to men exclusively.

The Labour Force Survey released by Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS), the first ever-held on quarterly basis, further states that literacy rate improved from 52 percent in 2003-04 to 53 percent in 2005-06, more for rural and women than urban and men.

The Survey’s estimates are based on the data of 32,744 sample households enumerated on quarterly basis through July 2005 to June 2006. Findings are presented in the form of proportions and percentages to provide for all-purpose employability. The population of Pakistan as on 1st January 2006 is estimated at 155.37 million by extrapolating the population census 1998 with average growth rate of 1.90 percent per annum.

Some of the main findings of survey report suggests that participation rate ascends significantly from 30.4 percent of 2003-04 to 32.2 percent in 2005-06, more for rural and women than urban and men. Comparative figures notch up considerably (39 percent Vs 40 percent) with the augmentation of marginal economic activities captured through additional probing questions from the persons conventionally outside the labour force.

Crude participation rates of the comparative Labour Force survey suggests that the overall rate ascends significantly from 30.4 percent in 2003-04 to 32.2 percent in 2005-06.

Like crude activity rate(s), refined activity rates registers significant increase from 44 percent in 2003-04 to 46 percent in 2005-06. Similarly, the rates for rural and females post higher growth than that of urban and males, the report adds.

It further states that employability of secondary and tertiary activities is generally on rise. Employment status is denominated as employees, own-account workers, unpaid family workers and employers.

The survey said employee category recedes from 38 percent in 2003-04 to 37 percent in 2005-06 due to women (31 percent Vs 26 percent) exclusively. The self-employed also pare down (37 percent Vs 35 percent) both for men (41 percent Vs 40 percent) and women (16 percent Vs 15 percent). The third one unpaid family workers, home to more than one half of women scales up (24 percent Vs 27 percent) significantly, steeper for women (53 percent Vs 59 percent) than men (18 percent Vs 19 percent). Latter most levels similarly.

The LSF depicts that more than 80 percent of employed persons worked beyond “35 hours a week”. Of these, 30 percent are reported to have worked “56 hours or more a week” in 2005-06 as compared to 31 percent in 2003-04. This indicates receding recourse to work “less than subsistence wages”. However, comparative proportions for the left-to-“35 hours a week” imply to a sort of rising underemployment.

In the informal sector, the size accounts for 73 percent of the employment in main jobs outside agriculture sector, more (75 percent) in rural than urban areas (71 percent). Conversely, formal activities are more concentrated in urban (29 percent) than rural areas (25 percent). Male workers are more numerous relatively. The profiles of comparative survey are analogous, which allude to structural rigidities. Informal sector’s employment ascends from 70 percent in 2003-04 to 73 percent in 2005-06, across the gender and area.

The report analysis on Employment by major industry divisions apportions the largest slice (35 percent) to wholesale and retail trade followed by manufacturing (21 percent), community, social and personal services (18 percent), construction (14 percent) and transport (11 percent).

The other categories account for less than two percent. Comparative labour force surveys indicate a mixed trend though ascents are more numerous than falls.

Manufacturing and construction register a relatively male-intensive rise, whereas that of whole sale and retail trade is female-driven. Services cut down more for females than males while transport remains nearly unchanged.

Regarding occupational safety & health, the report says that 2.9 percent working time of employed force was lost due to reporting some sort of occupational injury/disease in the past twelve months or doctor’s consultation. Explicably, male workers (3.4 percent) are more vulnerable than female (0.8 percent). Same holds for rural (3 percent) vis-à-vis urban workers (2.7 percent).

Elementary occupations (24 percent) and craft & related trade activities (22 percent) are the next major occupational groups followed by legislators, senior officials & managers (8 percent) and plant and machine operators & assemblers (6 percent). The foremost two categories are getting riskier, steeply for women than men. The third one’s increasing susceptibility to risk owes more to men than women. The same tone is set by the masculine group of plant and machine operators and assemblers.

Source: Business Recorder