Off-peak agric season sees slight drop in jobs

Source: Off-peak agric season sees slight drop in jobs | The Herald

Off-peak agric season sees slight drop in jobsThe ZimStat quarterly labour force survey results show a small drop in employment numbers partly driven by reduced activity in agriculture during the off peak season.

Nelson Gahadza-Senior Business Reporter

Zimbabwe’s total number of employed persons was estimated at 3,25 million during the second quarter of 2022, slightly lower than 3,27 million during the first quarter as the economy moved from the busier agriculture season.

Agriculture remains the cornerstone of Zimbabwe’s economy and is estimated to account for at least 16 percent of Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product, while hundreds of thousands of citizens are employed in the sector.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) 2022 Second Quarter, Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), the agriculture sector and the Wholesale trade; retail trade; sale and repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles sector account for almost half of the total employed persons.

Mr Taguma Mahonde, the ZIMSTAT director general officially opening the Virtual Dissemination of the 2022 Second Quarter Quarterly Labour Force Survey said the QLFS survey provides indicators necessary for monitoring the implementation of Zimbabwe’s macro-economic policies such as the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

“The QLFS also provides indicators to monitor progress for implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and Agenda 2063,” he said.

He added that apart from providing indicators for monitoring development programmes information from the QLFS contributes to the compilation of the economy’s quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) through provision of information on the number of employed persons and their respective earnings.

Mr Mahonde said the quarterly decline in employed persons during the quarter under review is expected as the economy moves from the agriculture season, as evidenced by a decline of 2.1 percent for the agriculture sector.

He indicated that the unemployment rate using the strict definition was estimated at 20 percent compared to 19,3 percent in quarter one while expanded unemployment rate was estimated at 48 percent compared to 47.2 percent in quarter one.

Mr Mahonde said the share of formal (non-agriculture) sector employment was estimated at 29 percent compared to 28 percent in quarter one while the share of employment in the informal (non-agriculture) sector was estimated at 45 percent for both second and first quarters.

“Share of employment in the household sector was estimated at 6 percent compared to 4 percent in quarter one and the share of employment in the agriculture sector was estimated at 21 percent compared to 24 percent in 1st quarter,” he said.

According to the QLFS survey report, the working age population was estimated at 9 million constituting 59 percent of the total population and the total labour force obtained from the survey was 4 million giving a total Labour Force Participation Rate of 44 percent.

The survey shows that around 3,3 million of the working age population were currently employed. The report highlighted that the national Employment to Population Ratio (EPR) for the second quarter stood at 35 percent.