Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Females are the face of job seekers in Botswana, survey shows

Botswana’s latest labour market statistics as compiled by the national statistics agency – Statistics Botswana (SB) during the last quarter of 2019 shows that when it comes to the labour force, females outnumber their male counterparts.

The data is contained in a reformed quarterly survey report published by SB last week and presents amongst other things information on employment, unemployment, wages from the formal sector, youth employment figures and other labour force indicators in the country.

According to the Q4:2019 survey report, Botswana females were the highest contributors to the currently unemployed labour force with 109,603 individuals compared with 102, 140 males.  

A further breakdown of the data shows that out of a total of 211,743 job seekers in Botswana, 109.603 were females, compared with 102,140 males. In percentage form, this reflects 51.8 and 48.2 percent, respectively.

The Q4:2019 report further shows that Botswana’s Labour force has increased from 940,546 persons in the third quarter of 2019 to 954,121 in the last quarter. This reflects an upward movement of 1.4 percent between the two consecutive quarters. At the same time, the SB data shows that during the period under review, there was an increase of 8.6 percent of the unemployed population while the employed population went down by 0.4 percent between the two quarters. This resulted in a decrease of 1.5 percentage points in the employment to population ratio over the period, from 47.4 percent in quarter three to 45.9 percent in quarter four of 2019.

The data comes at a time when the domestic economy has not only been painstakingly adding jobs but also bleeding them at a higher pace. Economic pundits have already projected that more jobs will go as a result of the ongoing global pandemic – Covid-19.

Covid-19 amongst other economic challenges are to expected to taste the strength of the presidency of Mokgweetsi Masisi who was democratically elected in October 2019 and is perceived as the “Jobs President”.

Even before his election to the highest office on the land, and whilst still a stop-gap President Masisi said that his administration has recognised the need to develop an overarching National Employment Policy (NEP) for the country.

The NEP, according to the “Jobs President” was to have implementable solutions to address the unemployment problem facing the country.

Masisi said at the time that the goal of the NEP is to assist the country to achieve “productive, gainful and decent employment for all, to contribute to the reduction of income inequality and as well as to support government’s poverty eradication efforts.”

Meanwhile Statistics Botswana’s Quarterly Multi-Topic Survey (QMTS) for the labour sector is expected to shed light on the progress Botswana is making in jobs creation or regression on job losses. In August 2019, the state-owned statistics agency said that the demand for more frequent statistical data has forced it to reconsider the frequency of the publication of its statistical products.

The agency head – Dr Burton Mguni said at the time that, going forward, SB will produce labour force and economic activity indicators on quarterly basis.

“The demand for more frequent statistical data and indicators continued to increase, driven to in part by challenges of poverty and unemployment among others and this prompted Statistics Botswana to reconsider the frequency of our statistical products and fashion our data collection and processing process to respond accordingly”, said Mguni in August 2019.

The Q4:2019 QMTS is the second of its kind following the quarter three (July-September) of 2019, whose results were published in January 2020.

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Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 21, 2020.