An Analysis of Our Labour Force [analysis]

THE latest statistics of our labour force have been released. The statistics are now being produced on an annual basis and will provide current and fresh data to analyse our labour force. As our Statistician-General Dr John Steytler said when he released the 2013 Report of the Labour Force Survey, now with an annual survey we can actually make real comparisons from one year to the next.

This makes Namibia’s economy more flexible, agile and able to respond and adapt to changing economic, social and employment changes, he highlighted. The report of the Labour Force Survey 2013 tells us that our population is about 2.1 million. Out of this population there are those that are considered economically active and those considered economically inactive. The economically active include all those within the working age group of 15 years and above. This excludes those that are below the age of 15 years in addition to those considered students, pensioners, ill, disabled and those on early retirement. This group is referred to as the economically inactive one. To get an indication of our economic activity rate, or labour force participation rate, we take the proportion of the economically active population in a given population group for assessment. The just released information tells us that our labour force consists of 690 thousand employed persons as compared to 290 thousand that are unemployed. This gives us a labour participation rate of around 70 percent and an unemployment rate of 29.6 percent.

Looked at it from a gender perspective we have a male labour force absorption rate of around 72 percent and an unemployment rate of around 26 percent. The female labour force absorption rate on the other hand is only around 70 percent and unemployment 33.1 percent. The active population for youth between the ages of 15 – 34 years tells us that around 294 000 are employed versus the 210 000 that are unemployed. The youth unemployment rate thus stands at around 42 percent at the moment.

The employed people are generally to be found in the agriculture and fishing sectors, trade and industry, private households, business and real estate, education, hotels and restaurants, as well as public administration. This debunks the perception that government is the main employer. The majority of the employed have obtained junior secondary, primary, as well as secondary education, in that order. Significant amounts have no education at all whilst around 7 percent have a university degree. The highest wages are recorded to be paid in the transport and communications sector, financial services and other services. Education, mining and extra territorial bodies follow closely. Wages in private households are by far the lowest. The unemployed rate stands at 29.6 percent. It mostly affects women and youth. The unemployment rate for women is around 33 percent, whilst for the youth it stands at around 42 percent. The majority of the unemployed only have junior and primary education. Significant numbers have secondary education, whilst others have no education at all. On the contrary, only around 7 percent and 6 percent of degree holders and post-graduate holders are recorded as unemployed. When asked what the majority of the unemployed did to try to get employment, the majority indicated that they asked friends, relatives and others for work. Others searched newspaper aertisements or looked on the Internet. A significant number placed or answered job aertisements and registered at an employment agency. This, and much more, is to be found in the latest Labour Force Survey Result of 2013. Get acquainted with it.

This column will appear on a bi-monthly basis and aims to bring the NSA and statistics closer to the people. Written by Staff Reporter

Source : New Era