The latest jobs survey ZIMSTAT shows just how badly Zimbabweans need well-paying jobs. According to the survey, only 22% of Zimbabweans are formally employed while the other 88% are employed in the informal sector. This reinforces the well-known fact that Zimbabwe’s informal sector is much larger than the formal sector that Zimbabwe’s authorities keep focusing on. Here are some of the takeaways from the survey:

  • 88% are informally employed. Most of these are traders i.e. vendors.
  • Half of the youths aged 15-34 are jobless and not in any form of training or education.
  • In April, 62% of those employed earned incomes of less than $20 000 ZWL
  • There is a total of 3 250 550 employed people in Zimbabwe
  • Of these 1 892 512 are males while
  • 1 358 038 are females

The Zimbabwean government and businesses need to heed these results

I am always complaining about how the Zimbabwean government seems to restrict all their efforts only to formal businesses and totally ignore informal businesses even though they now form the bulk of the economy. When policies are made to boost informal businesses they are often chaotic such as Command Agriculture and marred by corruption like the business grants offered to youths during Robert Mugabe’s era.

It’s not just the government, financial institutions tend to chase after the formal employed when it comes to things like mortgages, loans and other services. Services offered to the informal sector tend to be watered down and unappealing. Banks, thanks to stupid government policies like forced liquidation of US dollar balances and IMT tax cannot even get the informal sector to deposit money with them.

Both formal businesses and the government need to do better when it comes to engaging with the informal sector.

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