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World bank, 2018
Poverty headcount ratio at $3.65 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population)
Population below international poverty line

Varies by region. 

National minimum wage

Equivalent to 39,938 Pakistani rupees per worker per month (rural areas of Sialkot).
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2023

per month
Rural living wage

Equivalent to 43,709 Pakistani rupees per worker per month (urban areas of Sialkot).
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2023

per month
Urban living wage

Equivalent to 86,255 Pakistani rupees per worker per month for workers in rural area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2023

per month
Rural living income
World bank, 2021
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agricultural workforce
World bank, 2022
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Agriculture share of GDP

ITUC Global Rights Index, 2023
No guarantee of rights.

very high
Risk to workers' rights


Pakistan has a population of approximately 236 million people,[1] with 62% of its citizens living in rural areas[2] and the remaining 38% in urban centers.[3] Agriculture employs 38% of the working population[4] and accounts for 22.3% of the country's GDP.[5]

Despite Pakistan's high levels of agricultural production, the country is still burdened with high levels of food insecurity.[6] Small scale farmers face many challenges, including significantly small holdings, limited access to markets, credit and resources, as well as minimal off-farm employment opportunities.[7] In addition, high agricultural production has put pressure on the country's water resources, with roughly 90% of water resources used by the agricultural sector. Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, landslides and droughts are also a recurring problem in the country. [8]

Pakistan’s top produced commodities are sugar cane, buffalo milk, wheat, cow milk and maize.[9] In terms of export quantity, the top commodities are rice, cereal straws, maize, onions and potatoes.[10]

  1. ^ World Bank. (2022).
  2. ^ World Bank. (2022).
  3. ^ World Bank. (2022).
  4. ^ World Bank (2021).
  5. ^ World Bank (2022).
  6. ^ FAO. (2019).
  7. ^ IFAD.
  8. ^ FAO. (2019).
  9. ^ FAOSTAT (2021).
  10. ^ FAOSTAT (2021).


Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Pakistan can vary by province depending on the sector and activity, but the minimum wage for unskilled workers starts at 25,000 Pakistani rupees (104 EUR).[1] Although the minimum wage is higher than the World Bank estimate for poverty level income, it does not apply to workers in the agricultural sector, informal sector or domestic workers. The same goes for other benefits required for formally employed workers, such as the legal 48-hour workweek, overtime pay, annual and sick leave, health care, education for workers' children, social security or old-age benefits. The specificity of labor laws and the lack of enforcement result in employers failing to comply with acceptable working conditions, working hours and wages. Thus, the types of workers mentioned above are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and have little access to labor courts to seek redress for grievances. [2]

The Global Living Wage Coalition has developed 3 regional Living Wage Benchmarks based on the Anker methodology for both rural and urban Sialkot, and for rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Living Wage

The living wage for rural Sialkot, Pakistan is 39,938 Pakistani rupees (166 EUR) per month. This estimate is based on a family of 5.5 with 1.65 full-time workers working in rural sports-ball manufacturing areas.[3] The living wage benchmark for urban Sialkot, Pakistan is 43,709 Pakistani rupees (181 EUR) per month and is based on a family of 5 with 1.53 full-time workers working in urban sports-ball manufacturing areas.[4] Sialkot is one of the largest manufacturing centers in Pakistan, specifically in sports-ball manufacturing, hence these 2 benchmarks are focused on sports-ball manufacturing workers.

The estimated living wage in rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for a family of 6 with 1.48 workers is 58,600 Pakistani Rupee (243 EUR) per month. The focus of this study is on tobacco farmers, as Pakistan is the one of the largest producers of tobacco in the world. Tobacco is mainly grown in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and the study was conducted in the Charsadda, Mardan and Swabi districts.[5]

Living Income

A living Income benchmark was also realised and updated for rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for a family of 6 with 1.48 workers. The numer is estimated at 86,255 Pakistani Rupee (358 EUR) per month.[5]


  1. ^ Wage Indicator Foundation (2023). Minimum Wage-Pakistan.
  2. ^ U.S. Department of State. 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Pakistan.
  3. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2022). Living Wage Update - Sialkot , Pakistan: Rural Sports-Ball Manufacturing Area.
  4. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2022). Living Wage Update - Sialkot, Pakistan: Urban Sports-Ball Manufacturing Area.
  5. a, b Global Living Wage Coalition (2022). Living Wage Benchmark, December: Charsadda, Mardan, and Swabi districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan.

What's happening


Living Income Benchmark, rural Pakistan

Living income estimates, including living wage estimates, that workers in rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan need to receive each month to afford a basic but decent living.


Living Wage Benchmark, Rural and Urban Pakistan

Living wage estimates for workers to be able to afford a basic but decent living standard in rural areas of Sialkot, Pakistan.


Living Wage for Rural Sialkot, Pakistan

Living wage estimates for workers to be able to afford a basic but decent living standard in rural Sialkot, Pakistan.


Wages in Context in the Garnment Industry in Asia

This report focuses on the minimum and living wages concerning the garment industry in Asia, presenting an overview of 9 countries.   


Clean Clothes Campaign-Pakistan Country Report

This report by the Clean Clothes Campaign, dives into the labor conditions of the garment industry in the Pakistani context.

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