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Is it a match or concert? People gather at Pakistani stadium for recruitment test

News Agencies | Updated on: 2 January 2023, 10:09 IST

Stadiums are generally associated with sporting events or musical concerts but recently a stadium in Pakistan was filled with more than 30,000 people taking a written test for Islamabad's police force which shows the magnitude of the unemployment in the country.

The cash-strapped country is reeling under a severe economic crisis and high unemployment.

A new video emerged on social media space showing thousands of candidates sitting in a stadium, appearing to be writing exam papers and hoping for recruitment to the Islamabad Police, according to the viral video sourced by Al Jazeera.

Sharing the video on Twitter, Al Jazeera said, "It's not football that's filled this stadium in Pakistan but the hope of finding a job. More than 30,000 people turned up to take a written test for Islamabad's police force, where there are only 1,167 positions available."

According to the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), more than 31 per cent of Pakistan's youth is unemployed, The Express Tribune reported in February.

Out of these 31 per cent, 51 per cent are females while 16 per cent are males, with many of them possessing professional degrees. Nearly 60 per cent of Pakistan's population is less than 30 years old, according to The Express Tribune.

PIDE also revealed that a surprisingly large part of the working-age group is not even part of the labour force. These people are either discouraged workers or have other means of income to support them, the report stated.

It also stated that despite pronouncements and policy initiatives, the female labour force participation rate (LFPR) remains shockingly low.

Federico Giuliani, writing in Insideover said that the poor state of Pakistan's economy, which suffered in the aftermath of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was compounded by inefficient economic administration by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government under then Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Pakistan's economy faces multiple challenges today. The first is the current account deficit, followed by fiscal imbalance. Low agricultural productivity and industrial output come next in that order and finally comes, the flawed structure of the political economy, said Giuliani.

The current account deficit has officially reached 5.3 per cent of GDP. Fiscal imbalance is expected to rise to 8.2 per cent of GDP. Cooking oil prices have gone up 130 times since Imran Khan took over as Prime Minister and the cost of fuel has gone up 45 times to PKR 145 a litre in a year. The Pakistani rupee has also taken a pounding, losing 12 per cent to the dollar since July 2021. Thus, to put it mildly, the economy is virtually bankrupt.


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First published: 2 January 2023, 10:06 IST