MORE than 170 000 new jobs have been created in various sectors of the economy since 2017, with Zimbabwe’s employment figures continuing on an upward trend since the coming in of the New Dispensation nearly four years ago.
Data obtained from the National Social Security Authority (Nssa), collated through P3 forms submitted by new employees, shows that over 7 000 jobs have already been created in the first four months of this year.
Job creation figures peaked at 57 265 in 2018 before slowing to 46 208 the following year. Official statistics show that just under 40 000 people were employed last year, when the economy took a battering from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) described the latest figures as “a positive signal in any economy.”
The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) describes an employee as anyone who works for a public or private employer for more than 30 hours per week, while an employer is any individual or entity that employs a worker for more than 30 hours a week.
Responding to questions from our Harare Bureau, Nssa deputy director (marketing and communication), Mr Tendai Mutseyekwa, said the agriculture sector accounted for the bulk of the new jobs at 28 997 since 2017, while 27 546 new jobs were created in the manufacturing sector. He said over the same period, the mining sector took up 12 777 new employees, while the commercial and transport sectors accounted for 53 984 and 5 792 new workers respectively. In addition, the public administration and health sectors took up 19 684 new employees, while 5787 people were employed in the education and professional sport sectors. The post and telecommunications sector had 1 547 new workers and the civil engineering, construction and motor vehicle repair sectors took up 13 309 new employees.
“A cumulative total of 172 068 new employments have been registered from the year 2017 to date. While the commercial sector accounts for 31 percent of the new jobs, farming alone comes second with 17 percent, indicating the role of agriculture in the economy. The commercial sector constitutes many small sub-players, making agriculture the highest contributor to the new job creation over the period.”
Emcoz president Mr Israel Murefu said the new job numbers point towards an economic rebound.
“Generally, employment growth, especially in the private sector, is associated with economic recovery and businesses experiencing higher capacity utilisation, new investment coming, whether foreign or local, as well as increasing aggregate demand in the economy.