CUMULATIVE formal employment figures in Zimbabwe have increased by 20 percent to 1 296 million since 2017 when the Second Republic came into power, official figures show.
The new administration under President Mnangagwa has prioritised productivity in order to create employment across all economic sectors.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Cabinet has been informed on job creation trends in all sectors of the economy since the advent of the new political administration.
“Despite the plethora of challenges that were faced which include among others, foreign currency shortages, currency instability as well as natural calamities, such as droughts, cyclones and Covid-19, the formal employment figures increased from 1 083 823 in 2017 to 1 296 396 as of August, 2020 according to data from the National Social Security Authority (Nssa),” she said.
Most of the jobs were created in the agriculture sector with a 41 percent growth rate followed by construction at 40 percent and the energy sector at 37 percent.
“Overall, the economy added 20 percent new jobs during the period under review.
“Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are a major sector in terms of employment generation since the advent of the Second Republic.”
In the small and medium enterprises sector, a total of 235 635 jobs were created.
The majority of the jobs (22 percent) were in agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, retail trade (21 percent), manufacturing (15 percent), mining (nine percent) and education (eight percent).
In terms of investments, 86 new investments and new employers were registered between 2018 and 2019.
A total of 40 businesses were in the commerce sector and 34 in fabricated metal products or machinery.
Turning to retrenchments, Minister Mutsvangwa said the statistics from the Retrenchment Board show a declining trend since the advent of the Second Republic.
“In 2017, a total of 4 493 workers were laid off, whereas 1 668 lost their jobs in 2018 and 1 461 in 2019.
“By the end of June 2020, a total of 638 workers had been laid off,” she said.