Labour Conditions in Pakistan

According to a survey conducted by Wage Indicator Foundation in Karachi during late 2010, with sample size of 1626 persons, 4.65 % of the respondents earn less than the national minimum wage which is currently fixed as PKR 7,000

According to a survey conducted by Wage Indicator Foundation in Karachi during late 2010, with sample size of 1626 persons, 4.65 % of the respondents earn less than the national minimum wage which is currently fixed as PKR 7,000. However, the surprising feature is that 69.8% of these underpaid are either semi-skilled or highly skilled once we take into account the educational attainments.

Most of the underpaid are men. While most of the underpaid women (94%) belong to the younger age group (20-29), around 50% of males belong to the age group (20-40) years. The results indicate that women, even those having postgraduate degrees, are earning less than the minimum wage. The earnings above minimum wage are comparatively lower and 74% of the respondents earn from PKR 7,000 to 21,000 per month. Around half of the respondents earn between PKR 7,000 to 14,000 while only 4% of the respondents earn more than PKR 42,000.

Wage distribution is not much gendered in Pakistan and women dominate both the top and bottom ranges while men usually earn medium levels of income. Still, a gender income gap of 8.3% occurs. The education earning gap is significant where those with university degrees earn on average 33% more than those with basic education however those with medium levels of education are worse off as they earn even 5% less than basic educated respondents.

Data shows that highest paid are technical and associate professionals where around 9% of the respondents earn more than PKR 42,000 and none of the respondents from this profession is a minimum wage earner. The worst paid profession appears to be agriculture where wages don’t cross PKR 15,000 limit. There is a yawning gender wage gap for highly educated females as they earn 75% of the male earnings with equal educational levels.

As for the various types of allowances/bonuses, only a small number of respondents receive these allowances. The most widely paid is the transport allowance/arrangement. The data also shows that only 6.96% of the respondents are registered with social security institution to get medical benefits while only 10% are registered with Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) to receive pension after retirement.

According to the survey, nearly half of the respondents work overtime. However male over-timers have only basic education and work in low paid professions while the female counterparts are comparatively highly educated and well paid. Trade union membership is at its lowest among respondents (1.5%) and only 6% of the respondents are covered by collective agreements.

Full Report on Labour Conditions in Pakistan

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