A new study conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned that unemployment will become more acute in South Asia in the next decade as the labour force in the region is expected to grow by around 2.1 per cent a year.
Because of the growth in labour force, 14 million more people will be added to the labour market by 2015, as per a report on labour and social trends in South Asia.
The report says the most rapid increase will be in countries with the greatest number of working poor and the largest informal economies such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, and slowest in Sri Lanka.
It says while real manufacturing wages have risen throughout much of Asia, they have not matched increases in labour productivity.
Between 1990 and 2002 workers in India actually experienced a drop in real manufacturing wages of 22 per cent despite an increase in manufacturing labour productivity of more than 84 per cent.
In Pakistan the equivalent decline in wages was 8.5 per cent while in Sri Lanka the real manufacturing wages rose only marginally, it says.