The latest analysis of the labor force survey for 2020-21 unveils a troubling scenario for female engineering graduates within the country. A staggering 70% of these graduates find themselves either unemployed or not actively engaged in the labor force. Among the total cohort of 28,920 female engineering graduates, merely 28% (8,146) have secured employment. Alarming statistics reveal that 20.9% (6,054) are grappling with unemployment, while a substantial segment of 50.9% (14,720) remains outside the labor force, indicating their disinterest in seeking employment.
This research, a collaborative effort between Gallup Pakistan and PRIDE, delved into data from the Labor Force Survey 2020-21, concentrating on female engineering graduates holding degrees encompassing Bachelors, MS/M.Sc., M.Phil., or Ph.D. across various engineering disciplines.
When dissecting these figures by geographic region (rural and urban), a pronounced pattern emerges. Approximately 21.1% of all engineering graduates are located in rural areas, while the majority, 78.9%, reside in urban centers.
In rural areas, an estimated 43.9% of engineering graduates are gainfully employed, with around 36.3% facing unemployment. Interestingly, a smaller contingent, representing 19.8%, opts to abstain from labor force participation in rural regions, a significantly lower figure compared to the national average of 50.9%.
Urban areas present a distinct picture, where roughly 24.0% of female engineering graduates secure employment, while 16.8% contend with unemployment. Disturbingly, a substantial majority of female engineering graduates in urban locales, surpassing 59.2%, remain disengaged from the labor force.
A comparison of employment figures across regions underscores the stark contrast. Urban areas proffer considerably more employment opportunities for female engineering graduates, with 67.2% finding employment in urban settings, in stark contrast to the 32.8% employment rate in rural areas.
Contrarily, the percentage of unemployed engineering graduates is lower in rural settings (36.5%) when juxtaposed with urban regions (63.5%). Notably, among the 14,720 engineering graduates who have opted to remain outside the labor force, a substantial majority (91.8%) are located in urban areas, with a minor representation (8.2%) in rural regions.
An interesting observation emerges, indicating that roughly 64.2% of these engineering graduates who have chosen non-participation in the labor force are married, while 28.42% have never entered into marriage.
Examining age groups, the highest percentage falls within the 25-34 years category (50.9%), followed by those in the 35-44 years age group (21.7%). These statistics underscore the formidable challenges and barriers that female engineering graduates encounter within the job market.