Youth Unemployment On the Rise in Namibia

View of the Namibia capital city, Windhoek.

The number of employed people dropped to 135 800 in 2016, compared to 206 000 in 2014, resulting in unemployment shooting up by 6%, according to a Namibia Labour Force Survey report.

HIGHLIGHTS of a labour survey show that there were more unemployed youths in 2016 than there were in 2014, and that the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors lost more jobs during the period of the survey.

According to figures released on Wednesday by statistician general Alex Shimuafeni in Windhoek, during the period under review, the youth’s broad unemployment rates increased by 4,5 percentage points last year from 39% in 2014.

There were more than 246 000 unemployed youths out of a labour force of 570 000. There were more unemployed female youths (140 000), compared to 105 000 males.

The report further says that youth unemployment rates in all the 14 regions were higher than the national unemployment rate of 34%, except in Erongo, where it was 26,3%. //Karas had 30,9%; Omaheke had 32,8%; while Kunene had 63,2% and the Zambezi 60,2%.

In addition, the report says there were more than 206 000 jobs in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in 2014, compared to 135 800 in 2016.

The survey reveals that overall, unemployment in Namibia declined by more than 32 000 – that is from 709 000 in 2014 to about 677 000 last year.

Another sector which shed jobs in 2016 is wholesale and retail, where there were about 97 000 jobs in 2014, but down to 65 000 in 2016.

The report shows that there were 42 000 jobs in 2014 in public administration, defence and compulsory social security. But in 2016, these dropped to 30 000.

More than 66 000 jobs were recorded in 2014, but these had gone down to 59 000 by the end of last year, while there was a slight decline in the education sector from 41 470 in 2014 to 41 422 in 2016.

The health and social work sector boasted 21 800 jobs in 2014, which by 2016 had been whittled down to 19 000.

However, some of the sectors such as construction and manufacturing which are looking depressed this year, saw more jobs created in 2016 compared to 2014.

In construction, for example, there were 57 000 jobs in 2014, but this figure shot up to 63 000 last year. The manufacturing sector had about 29 000 jobs in 2014, but in 2016, there were a massive 44 000 jobs.

On a regional basis, Khomas with 66 400 out of a labour force of 234 000 had the highest unemployment figures.

Ohangwena (36 000) and Omusati with 35 000 come second and third, respectively. They are followed by Oshikoto with 29 700; Oshana (27 000) and Otjozondjupa with 25 000.

The lowest figures were recorded in Omaheke with 9 000; Kavango West with 10 000 and //Karas with 10 300.

Shimuafeni said the sharp increase in unemployment could be as a result of the prolonged drought which affected the agricultural sector since 2015.

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Source: The Namibian

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