The latest analysis of the labor force survey for 2020-21 reveals a concerning situation for female engineering graduates in the country. About 70% of these graduates are either unemployed or not actively participating in the labor force.
Out of a total of 28,920 female engineering graduates, only 28% (8,146) are employed. Alarmingly, 20.9% (6,054) are unemployed, while a significant portion, 50.9% (14,720), is out of the labor force, meaning they are not seeking employment.
This research, conducted jointly by Gallup Pakistan and PRIDE, examined data from the Labor Force Survey 2020-21, focusing on female engineering graduates who hold degrees such as Bachelors, MS/M.Sc., M.Phil., or Ph.D. in various engineering fields.
When analyzing these figures based on region (rural and urban), it becomes apparent that nearly 21.1% of all engineering graduates are residing in rural areas, while 78.9% live in urban regions.
Within rural areas, approximately 43.9% of engineering graduates are employed, and around 36.3% are unemployed. A smaller proportion, 19.8%, chooses to remain out of the labor force in rural regions, significantly lower than the national average of 50.9%.
In urban areas, roughly 24.0% of female engineering graduates are employed, and 16.8% are unemployed. Worryingly, the majority of female engineering graduates in urban regions, more than 59.2%, are out of the labor force.
Comparing employment figures by region, it’s clear that urban areas offer significantly more employment opportunities for female engineering graduates, with 67.2% employed there compared to 32.8% in rural areas.
In contrast, the proportion of unemployed engineering graduates is lower in rural areas (36.5%) compared to urban regions (63.5%). Additionally, among the 14,720 engineering graduates who are out of the labor force, the majority (91.8%) are in urban areas, with only a small share (8.2%) in rural regions.
Notably, approximately 64.2% of these engineering graduates who have chosen not to participate in the labor force are married, and 28.42% have never been married.
When looking at age groups, the highest percentage falls in the 25-34 years category (50.9%), followed by those in the 35-44 years age group (21.7%). These statistics highlight the challenges and barriers that female engineering graduates face in the job market.