HARARE – About 1.2 million people in Zimbabwe have given up on securing employment, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) has said as it reported that the national unemployment rate stood at 16 percent.
According to Zimstat’s just released 2019 Labour Force and Child Labour Survey (LFCLS) a total of 552 875 women and 611 739 men are no longer looking for work because they don’t believe that there are any jobs available for them.
“Discouraged job seekers are persons outside the labour force who are available for work but are no longer looking for work due to specific labour-market reasons, such as the belief that there are no jobs available.
“Discouraged job seekers are part of the potential labour force and in the 2019 LFCLS they constituted about 51 percent of the population in the potential labour force,” Zimstat said in the survey report.
According to the report the total number of employed persons was 2.9 million.
Zimstat director general, Taguma Mahonde, said that the body used a new framework for measuring statistics of work, employment and labour underutilisation premised on the 19th international conference of labour Statisticians resolutions.
“This new framework sets a new definition of employment which is now defined as work for pay and profit only unlike the previous standards which included in the employed category those who do own use production work for own consumption.
“Unemployment rate using the strict definition was 16 percent. Male unemployment rate was 16 percent. Female unemployment rate was 17 percent,” Mahonde said.
Zimstat however pointed out that policy making should be guided by the size of the potential labour force population.
“The potential labour force population was identified as the number of persons of working age who were seeking but unavailable to start work (unavailable job seekers) or were available to start work (available non job seekers) during the reference period.
“They are a subgroup of persons outside the labour force with expressed interest in employment but maybe unemployed because of limited labour market opportunities or limited channels of seeking employment,” Zimstat said in the report.
The potential labour force, together with the unemployed population, is used to compute the Combined Rate of Unemployment and Potential Labour Force (CRUPLF).
“The indictor shows the extent of unmet need for employment for the unemployed and potential labour force population,” Zimstat said.
The CRUPLF for Zimbabwe was at 50 percent distributed as 45 percent males and 55 percent females. At provincial level the CRUPLF was highest in Matabeleland North at 68 percent and lowest in Harare at 30 percent.
According to the survey almost 45 percent of the youth population were not in education, not in employment and not in training.