Rudo Muchedzi and Blessings Chidakwa
At least 84 percent of the economically active population of Zimbabwe is employed or self-employed within the formal and informal sectors, giving an official unemployment rate of 16 percent.
According to Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), the informal sector dominates with 2,2 million or 76 percent of the 2,9 million earning a living within the informal sector.
According to the 2019 Labour Force and Child Labour Survey report released yesterday, at least 2,9 million of the 3,4 million economically active people are employed under the new internationally agreed definition of employment, which classifies employed persons as all those of working age from 15 years and above who produce goods and services for a profit.
Zimstat said the statistical surveys showed Zimbabwe’s labour force has 3 463 512 people of which 2 987 064 are aged 15 years and above are employed while about 566 449 are unemployed translating to 16 percent of the labour force, but 19 percent of the population were “precariously” employed while 13 percent of the employed persons had at least one form of disability.
The formal sector has 32 percent of the employed population, while the informal sector and household sectors have equal proportions of 34 percent each. Out of those employed in the informal sector, 42 percent were in retail trade, or the repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles industrial group.
Zimstat director-general, Mr Taguma Mahonde, said the need to provide and analyse data employment, unemployment, under-redeployment and informal employment could not be over emphasised given the conflicting figures and statements on these variables circulating in the media and other platforms in the country.
“The role of Zimstat is to produce these indicators in using the scientific methods outlined in the ILO manuals,” he said.
UNICEF country representative Laylee Moshiri commended the Government, through Zimstat, for its continued evidence and data generation to inform national plans, programmes and strategies.
Moshiri said the 2019 Labour Force and Child Labour Survey (LFCLS), which was launched yesterday was another testament to Zimbabwe’s commitment to data generation.
“This survey is important for measuring progress in a range of national economic and social indicators including strides towards attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),’’ she said.
Speaking on behalf of Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Permanent Secretary Mr Simon Masanga, the Ministry’s Director Human Resources Mr Erasmus Gapare commended the exercise.