Friday, October 30, 2020

Botswana’s unemployment rate among the worst in the world

Most Batswana job seekers worst suspicions have been confirmed, their chances of landing a job in Botswana are slimmer than in most countries in the world.

A report published last week revealed that global unemployment remained stable at 8 between 2010 and 2011, according to Gallup surveys in 148 countries. Unemployment was highest in the Middle East and North Africa (22%) and sub-Saharan Africa (17%) last year and lowest in Asia (5%). Botswana, South Africa and SwazilandÔÇö“all of which have among the highest unemployment rates in the world” — largely drive the high unemployment rates in sub-Saharan Africa regions states the report.

The rate of unemployment in Botswana, however, is worse than that of South Africa and even Zimbabwe. While Zimbabwe and South Africa have between 30 and 39 percent of its able-bodied citizens employed full time, Botswana only has between 20 and 29percent.

More than 35 percent of Batswana, South Africans and Zimbabweans are under employed, stated the Gallup report. Gallup collects employment data using identical questions worldwide to classify respondents’ employment status. Unemployed people are looking for work and available for work. The underemployed are either unemployed or employed part time but wanting to work full time — this is a more complete measure than an unemployment measure is of the number of people who need more work. Young people between the ages of 15 and 29 are three times more likely than their older counterparts to be unemployed. Fifteen percent of 15- to 29-year-olds are unemployed, compared with 5 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds and 5 percent of 50- to 69-year-olds. Young people are also twice as likely to be underemployed. On a positive note for young people, they are more likely than 50- to 69-year-olds to be working for an employer. The data suggest that while youth are struggling with unemployment, those who are working are more likely than older people to have good jobs.

Gallup’s regional employment numbers highlight the importance of monitoring a well-rounded set of employment indicators, rather than focusing exclusively on unemployment, which does not always paint a complete picture of worldwide employment. Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the highest unemployment and underemployment rates and the lowest good jobs rates in the world. These data underscore the desperate need for quality employment opportunities and business growth in the region. Asia has the lowest unemployment rate in the world, but also has relatively few people working in full-time jobs for an employer. Low unemployment rates, such as those in Asia, can mask high rates of subsistence jobs. Such jobs count as employment, but they do little to contribute to the economic wellbeing of individuals and countries. Underlying these numbers is a need for better job opportunities.

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