Informal sector employs most youths

THE informal sector’s employment rate leapt from 84% recorded in 2011 to 94,5% last year, statistics released by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (Zimstat) have revealed.

By Simon Phiri

According to Zimstat’s 2014 Labour Force Survey, 98% of the youth population aged between 15-24 years and 98% of the adult population aged 65 years and above were not formally employed.

“Of the 6,3 million currently employed population aged 15 years and above, 5,9 million (94,5%) were considered to be in informal employment while 347 000 (5,5%) were in formal employment. In 2011, the informal employment was 84%,” read part of the survey.

“Twenty-nine percent of the currently employed persons were youths aged 15 to 24 years. Of these youths, 98% were in informal employment. 55% of the youths in the age group 15 to 34 years were employed of whom 96% were in informal employment.

“About 7% of the population aged 65 years and above were employed of whom 98% were in formal employment.”

The revelation is a wake-up call to the government which has over the years failed to create employment opportunities for the majority, resulting in many people seeking greener pastures either in the informal sector or outside the country.

The bulk of the unemployed that remained in the country are trading as vendors

The government last week issued ultimatums demanding vendors to move out of the streets or face unspecified actions.

However, the vendors have remained defiant citing the poor state of the economy as having pushed them into vending.

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