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Wave of unemployment amid COVID-19 surge in Pakistan

This article is presented by proofreading and editing site to illustrate the reasons of rise in unemployment rate and exhaustion of economy of Pakistan in Coronavirus pandemic
International Monetary Fund pointed out the projection of Pakistan’s unemployment rate that is predicted to be 6.2% in December, 2020. The Ministry of Planning has estimated that 12.3 million to 18.5 million people will be rendered unemployed due to pandemic. This figure can be aggravated by COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of strict lockdown in this health crisis can escalate the rate of unemployment in Pakistan upward. This persistent issue of unemployment in Pakistan is one of the major problems in this country and failure to resolve this issue is refraining the country from development. Pakistan’s employment setup has deteriorated badly due to Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown restrictions have pushed the economy into the depths of recession. The reduction in trade and industrial activities drastically affected the employment opportunities in the country. The sudden shutdown of the major marketing places in the major cities resulted in temporary decline of employment opportunities in the country.


An unusual and dramatic than any other crisis, Covid-19 pandemic is changing the world with unknown consequences and at an unprecedented scale. There is a sudden break in the functionality of workplaces in a short period and developing countries like Pakistan are facing major consequences. Each day sprouts new cases since the previous day and official data reports highest daily deaths in Pakistan. With the latest surge, the confirmed cases in the country has reached 155,000 with 56,400 recoveries and 2,840 fatality in the country. On 2 April, the Government of Pakistan announced that the Pakistani economy had lost Rs2.5 trillion due to the present health crisis. In order to keep people employed, Plant for Pakistan which is a campaign initiated by Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has tripled its number of workers aiming to recruit those workers who became unemployed following the Coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, there is a possibility of decline in mango export this year due to Coronavirus restrictions. There is a great fear among exporters because suspension of international flights, closure of territories, low demand and increasing freight fares are likely to decrease the country’s mango export this year. These major economy shocks are increasing the number of unemployed people.

Pakistan had imposed a countrywide lockdown closing down shops, markets, shopping centers, and government, and private offices except for emergency service, in a distressful situation to limit the effluxing COVID-19 cases. Thousands of people around the country have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite meeting any of the criteria of easing the complete lockdown in the country, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan had lifted the lockdown in late May to provide respite to the collapsing economy. The improvement and strength were reestablished in the businesses caused by restrictions related to lockdown. Moreover, lifting up the lockdown rules have opened the door of opportunities of employment that were lost due to implementation of lockdown. National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued a list of twenty cities, declared as Coronavirus hotspot to impose a smart lockdown in order to limit the rate of spread of infection by targeting the hubs of Coronavirus and meanwhile, also lower down the unemployment rate in Pakistan.

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The economic havoc wreaked by Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a great downfall around the world. The developing countries like Pakistan will face an adverse effect of the lockdown and relatively short economic shock further can cause an irreversible damage. Close contact businesses in Pakistan like restaurants, theaters and tour operator businesses have collapsed and number of workers are unemployed. On the other hand, so many people are associated with digital economy who can work from homes and their jobs can continue by some means. There is a great degree of firmness in economy because of its association with digital technology but majority of the workers in Pakistan are associated with material economy and their jobs can not be sustained from working at home.

The magnitude of decline in employment opportunities in Pakistan remains uncertain and the future of unemployed people is bleakly empty. Majority of the unemployed workers are not sure if their jobs will be granted again once the crisis is over. There is a need to take steps towards reviving business activities that has been shuttered for months in the major cities of Pakistan to slow down the spread of infection and alternate ways should be opened for unemployed people to seek jobs in this pandemic.

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