OVER 20 000 new jobs were created in the agriculture sector over the past two years, while 10 000 jobs were created in the mining sector over the same period.
New employment has also been created in sectors such as food processing, clothing and footwear, and printing and publishing, among other sectors and industries.
Statistics from the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Ministry show that the National Social Security Authority recorded 800 000 employees in 2018 against 279 302 in 2017 and 252 234 in 2016.
The number of employers has also been increasing. The figures are for registered employers and employees. The statistics show that general ranching and farming had 2 056 employers in 2016 and 107 405 employees. The number rose to 2 150 employers and 120 296 employees in 2017. This year, the sector has 2 269 employers and 133 120 employees.
“In the general mining sector, there were 500 employers in 2016 with 48 204 employees before the figures leapt to 549 employers superintending a workforce of 55 453 in 2017 and currently there are 610 employers and 59 959 employees,” the statistics reveal.
Textile manufacturers have increased from 39 in 2016 to 45 in 2018, all of them employing 5 461 and 6 003 people respectively.
“There is also an increase in vegetables and animal oils manufactures which increased from seven to 10 in the last two years while employees have increased from 1 417 to 1 779 during the same period. The country has also witnessed an increase in the manufacturers of drug and medicine sector from 13 in 2016 to 16 in 2018 while 1 119 employees were recorded in 2018 from 877 in 2016. Milk production and distribution employers grew from 19 in 2016 to 24 in 2018 while employees grew to 837 from 692 during the same period.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently said employment figures had hit a historic high due to various Government policies. President Mnangagwa has set his sights on transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
In an interview, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe said: “Government policies such as SI 64 saw a number of companies opening up, while the New Dispensation saw some companies such Olivine and Cairns being resuscitated. We are on the right path as a country despite the recent challenges that the country has been going through during the last quarter of the year. I believe it is a temporary setback. What is now needed is for the Government to reduce the budget deficit, cut foreign currency outflows and promote exports.”
Employment figures are likely to soar as various Government supported projects take off. Recently, President Mnangagwa officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony of Acardia Lithium Mine in Goromonzi, which is set to employ over 700 people in just the first phase. Roads projects around Zimbabwe have potential to create more than 10 000 jobs. President Mnangagwa has commissioned Hwange 7 and 8 thermal project, and Shabanie-Mashaba Mine will soon re-open, with the two initiatives potentially employing 9 000 people.
He has also launched the $4,2 billion Karo Resources consolidated platinum project that will employ well over 10 000 people directly and indirectly at its peak.
Further, companies like Zimasco, Bindura Nickel Corporation, Paramount Garments, Treger Holdings, Tanganda Tea Company and Suzan General Trading have recorded a quantum leap in exports.
As of September this year value of exports stood at US$3,01 billion, an 18,1 percent increase from the US$2,55 billion realised between January and September last year. The mining sector has been the leading light, with gold output already outstripping the 24 tonnes produced last year and expected to reach 30 tonnes by the end of 2018.