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– Sunday Mail

More than 170 000 new jobs have been created in various sectors of the economy since 2017, with employment figures continuing on an upward trajectory since the advent of the New Dispensation nearly four years ago.

Data obtained from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), collated through P3 forms submitted by new employees, shows that over 7 000 jobs have been created in the first four months of this year.Job creation figures peaked at 57 265 in 2018 before slowing to 46 208 the following year.

Official statistics show that just under 40 000 people were employed last year when the economy took a battering from Covid-19.

The Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) described the latest figures as “a positive signal in any economy.”

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) describes an employee as anyone who works for a public or private employer for more than 30 hours per week, while an employer is any individual or entity that employs a worker for more than 30 hours a week.

Responding to questions from The Sunday Mail, NSSA deputy director (marketing and communication), Mr Tendai Mutseyekwa, said the agriculture sector accounted for the bulk of the new jobs at 28 997 since 2017, while 27 546 new jobs were created in the manufacturing sector.

EMCOZ president Mr Israel Murefu said the new job numbers point towards an economic rebound.

“Generally, employment growth, especially in the private sector, is associated with economic recovery and businesses experiencing higher capacity utilisation, new investment coming, whether foreign or local, as well as increasing aggregate demand in the economy,”

said Mr Murefu.

“An increase in employment numbers is a positive signal in any economy, Zimbabwe included.

“What we have seen in 2020 and part of 2021 is falling employment numbers as a result of the impact of Covid-19 and our projection is that it may take up to 2 or 3 years for employment to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels before we can expect further growth especially in the formal sector.”

He said there were prospects for increased job creation in the future on account of the stability in the economy induced by stability of the official exchange rate and falling inflation.

“Stability enables businesses to plan with a measure of certainty and promotes further investment as well as improved productivity and capacity utilisation.

“These are also the ingredients for employment or jobs creation in our economy and so we hope the stability in the exchange rate and the falling trend in inflation are sustained.”

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Henry Ruzvidzo attributed the rising employment figures to a cocktail of business friendly policies being implemented by Government.

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