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Govt reports 7.66% employment rise between 2015-2019

MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Thapelo Matsheka
MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Thapelo Matsheka

15,000 job losses in 2020

A total of 52,850 people were employed from 2015 to 2019, taking employment figures from 698,528 to 742,378.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka revealed this in parliament on Tuesday this week.

Matsheka was answering a question from Kanye North Member of Parliament (MP), Thapelo Letsholo, who wanted the minister to appraise the House on the country’s economic growth over the last three years and projections over the next three years.

Letsholo further asked Matsheka to state how many permanent jobs were created as a result of the economic growth annually and how many are projected in the next three years.

Basing his response on the results from the last Botswana Multi-Topic Household Surveys (BMTHS) of 2015/2016 and the Quarterly Multi-Topic Surveys (QMTS) in the third quarter of 2019, Matsheka said total employment grew from 689,528 to 742,378 persons.

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This is an increase of 52,850 persons in four years.

“In this connection, the percentage increase over a period of four years (2015-2019) is 7.66 percent, hence the average annual growth rate is just under 2 percent,” said the Finance Minister.

Based on the projected total GDP growth of 18.8 percent in the next three years, Matsheka said it was anticipated that approximately 70,000 new jobs will be created in the same period.

“Based on long-term employment trends, it shows that total employment grows on average between 2 percent and 2.5 percent. If we take total employment of 742,378 persons in 2019, it implies that approximately 15,000 new jobs will be created each year.”

While Matsheka anticipates thousands of jobs to be created over the course of the next three years, recent data from Statistics Botswana (SB) indicates that over 15,000 lost their jobs between the first quarter and fourth quarter of 2020.

This led to employment levels falling by 3.1 percent, from 23.2 percent to 24.5 percent last year.

Matsheka said it has been discovered that about 6,000 people retire annually, while 15,000 new job opportunities are being created annually.

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“This implies that there are some 21,000 job opportunities for new entrants into the labour force yearly,” he said.

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