Unemployment in Namibia now at 33% …reduced by 0.6% in three years

by Annines Angula

Namibia’s unemployment rate receded by 0.6% from 34% in 2016 to 33.4% in 2018 thanks to a better performance from key sectors including mining and agriculture, the Namibian statistic has said.

Speaking to the media last week, Namibia Statistics Agency Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni said that despite the marginal decrease, unemployment remains a challenge for the country which has been in a financial recession for almost over two years now.

Based on the Labour Survey Report 2018, launched on Thursday 28 in Windhoek, Namibia still has a long way to go in meeting the country’s National Development Plan (NDP5) which targets to reduce the unemployment rate to only 24% by 2022 and to reduce youth unemployment to 33% by the same deadline.

According to the Survey, the youth unemployment rate between the age of 15 years and 34 years has increased from 43.4% recorded in 2016 to a whopping 46.1% by the end of last year. While the unemployment rate for persons aged between 19 and 34 stands at 44%.

At the regional level, the highest unemployment rates were recorded in Kavango East region with 48.2% of which 62.5% are youth; followed by Kunene region with 41.60% of which 53% are youth. The lowest unemployment is observed in Omusati region with 24% and the Erongo region 29.7%. While the Khomas region recorded 31% unemployment.

Unemployment among youth in urban areas has also increased from 38.1% in 2016 to 44% in the last three years.

Shimuafeni said the country has significantly recorded an increase in female employment from 318615 in 2016 to 364234 in 2018 while the male employment figure also increased slightly from 358270 in 2016 to 361508 in 2018.

The survey further reveals those with university qualifications such as certificate, diploma or degree constitutes a combined unemployed rate of 51.6%. The highest unemployment rates were found amongst persons with a junior secondary, those who leave school after Grade 10 and primary education top the list with a combined unemployment rate of 74.7%.

Furthermore, the unemployment rate of persons with no formal education stands at 28.6%.

The Agriculture sector continues to play a dominant role in employment with 23% of those employed were working in the agriculture sector.

Other sectors that recorded gains (employed more people) over the two years includes wholesale and retail trade and accommodations.

While sectors such as construction, mining, manufacturing, and administration recorded a decline, Shimuafeni said.

10 296 households countrywide were surveyed using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing.

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