Inflation and Unemployment in Pakistan

Inflation — decrease in currency value — is a plague that can bring down the best of the economies and teaming up with unemployment it becomes a deadly duo affecting everything from standard of living to poverty ratio. Public distress and a general sense of anarchy prevails giving way to an increased crime rate, thus not the mother of all but many evils for any country.

Inflation in Pakistan stood as high as 13.4 percent in 2011 from 10.1 percent in 2010, but over the years Pakistan has been fighting with the plague through strategic planning. An official Pakistan Statistics Bureau statement from May 2015 disclosed a fall of 2.11 percent in annual inflation rate from 2.49 per cent in March, yet the average stood at 4.81 percent from April to July.

In September 2015, with the improvement in transportation area – a 14.38 percent drop – basic necessities such as housing and utilities as well as clothing and footwear went up 5.47 and 4.6 percent respectively, providing only a temporary relief however placing a greater pressure on the population.

A significant decline has been recorded in inflation from 2010 – 2015, the alarming factor would be the IMF survey statistics released in April 2015 predicting a stand still situation after a minute decline in 2016 and a stale average of 5% from 2016 – 2020.

On one hand, there is an immediate need for better strategic planning to ensure a further decline in inflation and on the other hand unemployment statistical predictions tell no better a tale than that of inflation. While our population is predicted to reach 201.26 million by 2018, both inflation and unemployment rate stress on reduction strategies.

Unemployment rate in Pakistan went to its recent highest 6.75 percent in 2014 according to IMF data released in April, the same report predicted a decline in 2015 and then a gradual decline to 5.07% by 2018. Sounds promising, yeah?

Pakistan now stands at a thirteen year high with 8.3 percent unemployment rate with about 5.1 million currently unemployed with the addition of 700,000 in the current year after Pakistan missed the growth rate target of 5.1%. Pakistan has been far behind the South Asian countries in 2014 where the south Asian average stood at 3.9% and Pakistan stood at 6 percent by December however went as high up as 7.8 percent during the year.

Inflation and Unemployment statistics, predictions and current scenario tell a very drastic tale and pose many questions on Government policies leaving little room for objection on competency. Ruling party has been known to have trade driven policies however, the situation is getting graver and graver while the nation continues to suffer.

About Saad B. Murtaza

Saad is a journalist, researcher and new media strategist from Pakistan with around a decade of experience under his belt. He started his career with conventional investigative journalism but his love for new media technologies, thirst for knowledge and out of box thinking lead him to expand his horizon into new media strategies, data journalism and research.

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