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Volume :5 Issue : 17 1979      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE IN IRAN, PAKISTAN AND THE GULF AREA WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASES ON DEVELOPING LABOR FORCE NEED

Auther : By Dr. Lee L. Bean

 

In the analysis of social change and modernization in the developing nations, one often seeks historical parallels with Western European or North American processes in the anticipation that lessons once learned might be applied to speed up the process in Africa, Asia, the Middle East or Latin America. Studies of demographic changes associated with industrialization in the developed countries indicate that there is little similarity to be found in the developing national of the world. Similarly the author argues that the problems of labor force employment and development in Iran, Pakistan and the Gulf States are very different from the problems faced by the US during early stages of industrialization. In order to do so, the following points were explored:

  1. The demographic factors related to labor force growth and utilization.
  2. The labor force consequences of industrialization and development in the region, and,
  3. The social and political consequences of labor force transfers within the region.

From a demographic point of view, there are certain limitations, which one faces in acquiring the necessary documentations, such as population censuses, labour force surveys and migration statistics. The ideal set of data is not available and for the available data, validity is a major problem and within the Middle East as a whole extent and quality of demographic data is varied.

Taking the population size, these countries vary, but they appear to share a number of common social and demographic characteristics, which are important factors to be considered in the demographic problems these nations face with respect to labor force development and utilization. One of these common problems is a large, relatively unproductive young population. Because of the large concentration of the population in the younger age groups the labor force shall continue to grow rapidly for some time to come. As for countries with large population size no oil resources, such as Pakistan, these will continue to suffer from labor force surplus, while for the oil producing countries, the employment generation problem will be manageable. As for the oil countries, the employment opportunities will rise in the industrial service and agricultural opportunities (to a greater extent for Iran) generated by revenue investments. The oil countries with small population will continue to rely greatly on foreign labour, both skilled and unskilled labour. So labour force transfers will continue within the region and this will give rise to a growing socio-political problem. For the small size oil producing countries, for example their populations are a minority within their own countries. This led to applying several restrictions in their migration policies, and migration to the Gulf shall continue to be of temporary character, in contrast to migration of labor experienced in the West particularly to the US during the first half of this century. Yet apart from the benefits associated with labor force transfers for both labor surplus and shortage countries, there remains an element of concern, especially for Pakistan, which is supporting the training of skilled manpower who emigrate. And what will these nations do when in five, ten or twenty five years these labor shortage countries announce they are no longer in need of these skilled migrant workers.

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