ISLAMABAD: Ahead of the World Day of Social Justice, marked today (Wednesday), a report released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) states that the share of temporary work affects between 70 and 80pc of wage and salaried workers in Pakistan.
The report, titled World Employment Social Outlook 2019, was released ahead of Social Justice Day. It says the share of temporary work remains quite substantial in several countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Besides Pakistan, the share of temporary work also affects wages and salaried employees in countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Being in wage or salaried employment is not a guarantee of good working conditions. The report says that a sizeable proportion of employees in the region lack advantages such as job security, income stability or a written work contract.
The prevalence of informality in the region remains the highest globally, affecting close to 70pc of all workers. Among the sub-regions, southern Asia has the highest share of informal employment – about 90pc – mainly due to the large agricultural sector in which virtually all workers experience informality.
Temporary employment also plays a significant role in the manufacturing sector, affecting, on average, 20pc of workers. The share of temporary work in market services is smaller and more homogeneous across countries, though it is still rather large in services such as transport, storage and communication, and accommodation and food.
The situation is similar across non-market services, where temporary work accounts for around 20pc of total employment. Education, and health and related social activities are the two sectors in which the use of temporary workers is most widespread.
At the same time, there are millions of workers in the region who work excessively long hours – more than 48 hours per week. Despite some differences between countries, the share of workers who report working excessive hours is largest in manufacturing.
In recent decades, high levels of economic growth, coupled with a declining share of agricultural employment, have led to a rapid decrease in poverty rates in the region. Overall, more than 22pc or 410 million workers in Asia and the Pacific are in extreme or moderate working poverty. Working poverty rates are particularly high in southern Asia, where close to 12pc of workers live in extreme poverty and another 31pc in moderate poverty.
Despite bringing about substantial improvement, the development model adopted by most countries in the region appears to be unable to significantly reduce the region’s widespread decent work deficits.
The Asia Pacific region has experienced rapid structural transformation over the past few decades, with employment moving away increasingly from agriculture into sectors of the economy with higher added value. Employment growth in the region is estimated to have been 0.7pc in 2018–a decrease of almost half apercentage point since 2017, report says.