BY VICTOR BAATWENG
The national statistics agency ÔÇô Statistics Botswana has released its latest formal sector employment data showing a 0.9 percent upward movement in the formal sector employment.
The latest Stats Brief, released in late May 2019 presents formal sector employment figures as at the end of December 2018.
The SB data shows that as usual, the controversial social work programme ran by the local government ÔÇô Ipelegeng recorded an increase of 3.2 percent during the period under review.
Since inception some years ago, Ipelegeng continues to gain a domineering role in the country’s economy in terms of its absorption capacity to those seeking employment. This is in contrast to the ‘traditional’ sectors of the economy.
While some economic pundits continue to question the inclusion of Ipelegeng in formal employment surveys, the stats agency maintain the exercise of including Ipelegeng workers on employment figures is to satisfy the International Labour Organisation (ILO) requirements that guide data collection regarding employment.
According to Ministry of Local Government Ipelegeng is a government programme whose main objective is to provide short term employment support and relief at the same time as carrying out essential development projects that have been identified and prioritised through the normal development process. Workers re-apply every month and are engaged based on availability of places and if applications exceed number of places, priority is given to those who didn’t have work the previous month.
Meanwhile the latest briefs also shows that the Real Estate sector recorded an increase in employment of 1.9 percent during the period under review.
The two sectors were followed by Transport & Communication with 0.5 percent increase in employment, Wholesale & Retail Trade and Hotels & Restaurants came third with 0.3 percent each. At the same time, Employee earnings increased from P6, 347 in September 2018 to P6,533 in December 2018, which is an increase of 2.9 percent.