The fact of unemployment is somewhat hidden by the joint family system where everyone is supported out of a common pool of income, and the religious institutions which support a vast majority of people.
We have two main types of unemployment; namely, agricultural unemployment and industrial unemployment. The causes of unemployment in agriculture are numerous.
Firstly, the pressure of population on land is increasing and the farm can no longer employ and absorb the increased numbers. Secondly, the lack of subsidiary industries in the villages adds to the unemployment. Thirdly, the agricultural operations keep the farmer busy only for a part of the year and for the rest of the months he is unemployed.
This fact is referred to as under-employment in our agriculture. Lastly, the uncertainty and vagaries of Pakistani Monsoons render the agriculturist unemployed whenever the crops fail. That is why the Pakistani agriculture is said to be a gamble of the Monsoon. Due to all the above reasons, the state of unemployment in agriculture is growing worse every day.
As far as the causes of industrial unemployment are concerned, firstly, our industrial system is unable to absorb the growing population because the industrial development is not commensurate either with the vast resources of the country or with the growth of its population.
Secondly, the location of industries is defective and uneconomic. There is overcrowding in certain areas which results in the rise of cost of production.
If the geographic distribution of the industries had been rationally planned, the industrial structure would have been more economical and its capacity for employment would have increased tremendously.
Thirdly, the periodic occurrence of depressions in the industry brings about unemployment. Fourthly, the export industries have not been able to maintain their hold on foreign markets. Thus there has been a decrease in employment in the export industries which is transmitted to other industrial sectors.
The remedy for industrial unemployment lies in stepping up industrial efficiency. To achieve this, a complete overhauling, re-orientation and rationalisation of our industrial system is needed.
SARAH MAZHAR KHAN