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Unemployment creeps up to 20.7% as economy fails to meet job demand

STAFF WRITER
Unemployment is at 20.7% PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
The economy is failing to keep up with the demand for jobs and unemployment has now crept up to 20.7%, from 17.6% three years ago, Statistics Botswana revealed this morning.

The new rate is contained in a Quarterly Multi Modular Survey (QMTS) focussing on labour released this morning. The survey is the first of its kind and compares various labour indicators from the third quarter of 2019 with the last full labour survey, the 2015/16 Botswana Multi Topic Household Survey. 

According to the QMTS, the number of economically active people (15 years and above), which means those employed and those looking for employment, was measured at 940,546 in the third quarter of 2019. This is compared to 836,734 in 2015/16, giving a difference between the two of 103,812 or a 12.4% increase in the economically active population. 

The number of employed people aged 15 years and above, meanwhile, went from 689, 528 in 2015/16 to 745,556 in the third quarter of

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2019, a growth of about 56,000 jobs or 8.1%. 

The numbers indicate that the unemployed population aged 15 years and above rose to 194,990 in the QMTS, compared to 147,206 in 2015/16, a growth of about 48,000 people.

Youth unemployment also rose during the period, with the unemployment rate among those aged between 15 and 35 years rising to 26.7% from 25.1%.

The latest figures show that while the economy continues to create jobs, largely in the formal sector, this is not keeping pace with jobseekers demands.

The figures also show that average earnings in the local economy rose to P4.989 in the latest survey from P4,616 in 2015/16. The latest survey shows that by the third quarter of 2019, men were on average earning P6,054 compared to P3,972 for women.



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