Pakistan Observer

Unemployment & impact on society

Shazad Ahmad

Wednesday, November 02, 2011 - Providing better life to the common people is the first priority of every government. Human history shows that meeting the basic needs of the people has been the goal of good governance all along. These needs can be met by providing profitable and productive work to all able-bodied members of the society. After the transformation of society from a feudal to an industrial category, the needs of the individual have risen sharply. People have to struggle for an income that may buy them their basic requirements. Employment is the main source of income for many people in any country, but if this source is not developed, it would result in general poverty and destabilize society. Infact, unemployment affects not just the individual himself but also his family and in the long run the society where he lives.

Unemployment brings with it hopelessness, sadness and distress. Unemployment is of different types. In Pakistan some very serious problems are responsible for creating unemployment. For example the law and order situation, corruption, poor management of agriculture, neglect of education, feudal culture, unchecked population growth, poor governance and recently, energy crisis. These have all had adverse effect on employment generation. In the last ten years the war against terror has harmed the Pakistan’s economy and its capacity to generate employment.

Unemployment affects people in a variety of ways and many of them sink into depression caused by dissatisfaction, anxiety and hopelessness when they see the state institutions in decay. Unemployment forces human to live their lives in a way they do not wish to – The life expectancy is negatively affected. It is usually observed that the mental health of the unemployed person is badly affected. Many psychologists believe that unemployment is the cause of many psychological problems like: lack of self-confidence, feeling undeserving, depression and hopelessness.

With the lost income and the frustration involved in it, the unemployed may develop negative attitudes toward common things in life and may feel that all sense of purpose is lost. Frequent emotions could be – low self-esteem, inadequateness and feeling dejected and hopeless. The effect on the emotional side is more serious, which makes the jobless man socially isolated. The young, particularly, start taking drugs and even take to crimes. Generally, crime rates rise as people are unable to meet their basic needs, so they adopt the wrong ways to get their necessities. People can’t take part in social and cultural activities. And as a result homes are abandoned, and neighborhoods deteriorate. This means the jobless person becomes totally cut off from society and snaps his links with the family.

Unemployment makes society weak and stops its productive power. People can’t have better education or even medical treatment for their children. As a result the children of unemployed fathers are at risk of socio-emotional problems, resulting in stressful behavior, lack of drive and hope which together have a destructive impact on the children’s psychological state and leaves tragic scars on the child’s psyche. Children and young people living in poverty and in other disadvantaged situations cannot play a positive role for improving the society and development of the country.

However, increasing and constant unemployment has a negative impact on social development. In some countries, ethnicity, particularly among young migrants, is a factor in their social exclusion and marginalization. Nevertheless, young employment promotes social integration, intergenerational dialogue, citizenship and solidarity. Creating and fulfilling income-generating job opportunities for young people can have direct positive consequences for poverty alleviation. It also benefits economic development by facilitating the entry of skilled people into the productive sectors of an economy, and enabling the economy to sustain or increase its productivity and competitiveness in the international market place. It is the duty of governments to create productive employment opportunities for its populace.

The young react more strongly when unemployed. In recent years, there have been several cases of suicides. There have been instances in which the head of a household has murdered his entire family under overwhelming economic pressures. These people may well have been very troubled to begin with, but it was impending financial disaster that pushed them over the edge. Unemployment makes people bitter. Family members start a jobless man as a burden on the household. The unemployed lose social respect. Ultimately large scale unemployment hurts the social set up and destabilizes the societal balance. This results in further loss to the national economy. And it is a fact that we could prepare today to afford the improvements of tomorrow through economy.

In Pakistan unemployment is rising day by day, so it is not difficult to say that unemployment could cause undesirable outcome in our everyday life which is very harmful for our society, because unemployment can impose large economic costs on society and become a significant burden on public budgets. If the government failed to provide employment opportunities, both people and society bear the costs. Due to unemployment the life starts roaming into the chaos and misery. T

oday the issue of unemployment is a very challenging issue. Government must think seriously and take solid and comprehensive steps to improve economic growth process, to make better policies to reduce the unemployment rate by restoration of industries, stimulation production and increase in investment, development of agriculture. Government should also provide more technical and vocational training facilities. Because the unemployed is not able to put individual’s skills to use, and in a situation where it goes on for too long the person may have to lose their skills. In this way unemployed people will get the chance to enhance their skills and become able to earn reasonable income for betterment of their life.

George Bernard Shaw very rightly said: “A man who has no office to go to - I don’t care who he is - is a trial of which you can have no conception”.
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