employment

Joblessness in Botswana has reached a record 20.7 percent, the southern African country’s statistical agency said Wednesday, piling pressure on President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s administration after it won last October elections vowing to decisively deal with unemployment.

Official figures released by state-owned Statistics Botswana (SB) on Wednesday show that unemployment has increased from 17.6 percent three years ago to 20.7 percent.

In its Quarterly Multi Modular Survey (QMTS) focusing on labor which compares various labor indicators from the third quarter of 2019 with the last full labor survey, the 2015/16 Botswana Multi-Topic Household Survey says while the economy continues to create jobs, largely in the formal sector, this is not keeping pace with jobseekers’ demands.

“Unemployment rate went up by 3.1 percentage points between the two periods, from 17.6 to 20.7 percent,” statistics show.

According to the survey, the youth labor force increased by 12.7 percent, from 427, 089 in 2015/16 to 481, 441 in the third quarter of 2019.

This (increase of youth labor force) was accompanied by an increase of 1.6 percentage points increase in youth unemployment rate, from 25.1 to 26.7 percent. Young people make up to almost 60 percent of Botswana’s population of 2.1 million people, official figures show.

The survey showed that the number of economically active people (15 years and above), which means those employed and those looking for employment, was estimated at 940,546 in the third quarter of 2019.

The number of employed people aged 15 years and above, meanwhile, increased from 689, 528 in 2015/16 to 745,556 in the third quarter of 2019, a growth of about 56,000 jobs which is an equivalent of 8.1 percent. Enditem

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