Monday, October 26, 2020

Secondary School leavers ‘lead’ the labour market in Botswana – Survey

A survey carried by the national statistics agency – Statistics Botswana (SB) during the first quarter of the year has shown that people who studied only up to secondary school contributed 42.4 percent of the overall employment in Botswana. 

The SB’s Multi Topic Survey – Labour Force Module Report for quarter one – 2020 workers with University qualification are the second contributors to the labour market sector at 15.7 percent while their Primary School counterparts come third at 14.7 percent. 

Statistics Botswana says from a total of 751,798 employed persons, 458,371(61.0 percent) did not have any training, the majority of whom were those who had never attended school, completed primary, secondary and non-formal educational.

The survey also shows that for this year’s first quarter (Q1 2020) shows that the country has a labour force of 978,396 people, up 2.5 percent from 2019. The labour force is made up of people aged above 15 years who are out of school and are active to undertake any kind of labour. From the 978,396 manpower, only 76.8 percent are employed, leaving 226,598 without jobs in the first three months of 2020, marking a 23.2 percent unemployment rate, higher than the 22.2 percent unemployment rate in 2019. 

The lack of jobs in Botswana has become a major issue, and without clear data, there is growing concern that the number of unemployed people might be understated. For starters, the 23.2 percent unemployment rate does not include discouraged job seekers, who after a prolonged period of joblessness have decided to stop searching for the hard to come jobs. Statistics Botswana estimates the number of discouraged job seekers at 59,212, and when added to those actively seeking jobs, there are 285,813 people without jobs, resulting in the extended unemployment rate of 27.5 percent. 

The lack of jobs in the sluggish economy has hit hard the young people most. Nearly 146,899 people under the age of 35 are jobless – representing more than half of the total unemployed people in the country. The data also shows that unemployment is highest in urban and urban villages, and it is steadily rising in rural areas as well. From the 226,598 jobless people, about 22.2 percent or more than 50,000 are graduates from tertiary institutions, while secondary school leavers account for 60.2 percent of unemployment.

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