Unemployment rate at 6,6 percent – Zimstat Survey

Tinashe Makichi

HARARE – At least 6,6 percent of the economically active Zimbabwean population of 5,6 million people is unemployed with the majority of those that are working found in the agriculture sector, according to a new survey by the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (Zimstat).

According to the 2017 Inter-Censal Demographic Survey (ICDS) the employed persons enumerated in Zimbabwe 56 percent are communal farmers/communal farm workers while the other employed persons are 44 percent.

The proportion of communal farmers as a percentage of employed persons is highest in Matabeleland North (82 percent) and least in Harare (one percent).

The ICDS launched with technical and financial assistance from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) noted that 93,4 percent of the population is employed in one way or the other.

The 2017 ICDS report was prepared by the Zimstat based on data collected in August 2017. In preparing the report, Zimstat seeks to put at the disposal of users detailed data which will assist in evidence based policy formulation and administration, research, overall development planning as well as monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals.

The ICDS is carried out once every five years and showed that the country has a total population of 13 572 560.

In terms of the breakdown, 52 percent, amounting to 2,9 million, work in the agriculture sector while 14.8 percent are self-employed in different sectors of the economy while the rest are employed elsewhere.

“According to the ICDS 2017, the population age 15 years and above for Zimbabwe is 8 072 178 and 60 percent of this population is economically active.

“Out of the economically active population, seven percent are unemployed whilst 93 percent are employed,” said Zimstat.

Those who are not working, about 2,46 million, were classified as mostly students, “homemakers” who are stay at home mothers, as well as the elderly, retired and sick.

The data also revealed that three percent of children, who are under the age of 15, were working, which is against international labour conventions.

“The largest proportion of working children are involved in agriculture followed by unpaid family work,” read the report.

“About two percent of children aged 10-14 years are looking for work.”

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