ZIM’s 88% workers informally employed – ZIMSTAT

By Own Correspondent

 

A total 88 percent of Zimbabweans are informally employed and largely involved in survivalist mode of employment, often lacking adequate social protection, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency second quarter Labour Force Survey has revealed.

The informal sector is growing in leaps and bounds as the business environment continues to deteriorate. It is estimated between 85-90 percent of Zimbabweans are engaged in informal economic activities at a personal, household or enterprise level.

A 2018 study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discovered that 60 percent of the Zimbabwean economy is informal, second in the world only to Bolivia’s 62,3 percent.

The level of informalisation in the country is now estimated to be between 65 percent and 70 percent due to several push-and-pull factors such as high inflation, poor remuneration in the formal sector, punitive foreign exchange regulations, weak institutions and high levels of corruption, low tax morale, high levels of unemployment, overregulation, limited automation in tax collection and increase in poverty levels in the country.

Latest findings by the survey revealed that 29 percent of the employed population was in the formal sector while 45 percent  were in the informal sector.

“Of those in employment 21 percent and 5 percent were in the agriculture and household sectors, respectively. Eighty-eight percent of the employed population were informally employed. Among those employed in the non-agriculture sectors, 85 percent were informally employed,” the report established.

While the country currently boasts of an unemployment rate of just 20 percent, labour market watchers are more worried about the quality of employment which they believe does not live up to the decent work pillars and does not qualify to be categorized as “real jobs”.

Often, the sector’s workers lack job security, cannot access bank loans and are exposed to precarious working conditions.

The report states that 62 percent of the employed population earned income of less than RTGS$20,000 during the month of April 2022. Among the paid employees, 27 percent earned income of less than RTGS20,000 again during the month of April 2022.

It is also noted that 38 percent  of the employed population worked excessive hours of above 49 hours a week. 29 percent were in time-related underemployment. 20 percent of persons 15 years and above were unemployed.

 Among males, the rate was 18 percent while for females it was 23 percent. Matabeleland North province had the highest unemployment rate of 38 percent. The age groups (15-19) years had the highest unemployment rate of 42 percent followed by those aged (20-24) years at 34 percent. Youth (15-24) years had a national unemployment rate of 37 percent.

 The national unemployment rate for youth (15-34) years was 29 percent. Unemployment rate was highest among those who had completed lower secondary at 23 percent followed by those with primary level education at 22 percent.

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