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Impacts of Demographics on the Economy of the Country | Complete FREE Essay with Outline


  1. Introduction
  2. Demographic Features of the Largest Economies
  3. Pakistan’s Demographics
  4. Problem & Opportunites
    • Problems
      • Poor Industrial Base
      • Little Growth in the Manufacturing Sector
      • Persistent Energy Crisis
      • Weak Economic Management
      • The rapid Increase in Population Size
    • Opportunities
      • Employment Opportunities Outside the Country
      • Train and Export our Surplus Manpower
      • Higher Remittances
      • Less Pressure on the Domestic Labour Market
      • Help Finance Foreign Expenditures
      • Import Payments and Debt Repayments
  5. The Decline in Manpower Exports
  6. How to Increase Manpower Exports?
    • Diplomatic Missions must be Well-Acquainted What we can Offer
    • Finding Suitable Placements for our Workers
    • Developing Favourable Bilateral Ties
    • Cultivating Relationships
    • Using Good Networking Skills to Create a Market for our Workers
    • Analysing Labour Market Statistics and Trends
    • Developing Higher Education Institutions
    • Vocational Skill Development Centres
    • Enhance our Workers’ Employability
  7. Conclusion

According to the Pakistan Labour Force Survey 2018, the highest unemployment rate of 12% is experienced by the 20-24 age group.

Demography is the statistical study of human populations, especially with reference to size and density, distribution, and vital statistics (births, marriages, deaths, etc.). Contemporary demographic concerns include the population explosion, the interplay between population and economic development, the effects of birth control, urban congestion, illegal immigration, and labour force statistics.

China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore — leading members of the worlds’ largest economies — share three demographic features: i) their fertility rates are below replacement level resulting in lower population growth rates; ii) their younger, productive population is shrinking; iii) their elderly population is growing due to advancements in healthcare.

Economic growth in these countries is fuelled by new industries that require skilled human resource, which is becoming scarcer due to current demographic trends. To sustain economic growth, these countries are now encouraging and welcoming foreign skilled labour.

In this scenario, Pakistan’s demographics — marked by a large working-age population — can be leveraged positively. The productive population between 15-64 years constitutes 56% the total population. However, due to a poor industrial base, little growth in the manufacturing sector, persistent energy crisis, weak economic management and rapid increase in population size, we have been unable to absorb these individuals into the labour market.

According to the Pakistan Labour Force Survey 2018, the highest unemployment rate of 12% is experienced by the 20-24 age group.

If we can identify employment opportunities outside the country, train and export our surplus manpower, it can translate into a win-win situation. It would mean higher remittances, less pressure on the domestic labour market, help finance foreign expenditures, import payments and debt repayments — all contributing to an eventual economic turnaround.

Pakistani remittances currently constitute 6% of the GDP, which is hardly comparable to other countries in the region like Nepal where foreign remittances account for 28% of the GDP.

According to recent reports, Pakistan’s manpower exports have declined by 60% since 2015, and a 23% decline was seen in 2018 alone.

To reverse this trend, our diplomatic missions can play an important role. Our missions abroad must be well acquainted with what we can offer in terms of skills and expertise available in Pakistan — essentially identifying where our competitive edge lies.

Finding suitable placements for our workers should be the collective responsibility of the entire embassy staff, from the ambassador downwards, and not restricted to commercial counsellors or labour attaches alone.

The team should start by developing favourable bilateral ties, cultivating relationships, and using personal contacts and good networking skills to create a market for our workers. They must gather and analyse information and report back to relevant agencies and organisations in Pakistan about job market requirements of the host country, its specific areas of demand, its regulations for migrant labour, and its social customs and communication requirements.

Missions must also project future employment opportunities by analysing labour market statistics and trends and, accordingly, guide the government to strategically plan to develop specific skills required now and in the future.

For instance, an analysis of the statistics of the US Bureau of labour shows that in the next 10 years the job volume for registered nurses, software developers, business operation managers, landscapers and groundkeepers will grow substantially.

To be ahead of the curve, our higher education institutions, vocational skill development centres, and relevant ministries (including Labour Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis, Foreign Affairs, Education and Commerce) will have to work collectively to enhance our workers’ employability. The recent formation of a task force for this specific purpose is indeed a step in the right direction.

Apart from South Asia, there are employment opportunities worth tapping in the US, Canada, Germany and the GCC countries. We need to develop appropriately-trained manpower and be proactive with our diplomacy to capture a share of the emerging global labour market.

By Dr Ali M Mir

The writer is a public health specialist having experience of working in the public and private sectors.


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