Namibian industries are not keen on employing women at the same rate as they employ men, the latest labour force survey released by the Namibian Statistics Agency shows.
The NSA acknowledges that out of the total employed population of 712 752 persons, only 48.1% are female which is 3.5% less than the employed male population with a percentage of 51.9%.
In real terms, only 343 076 females are employed nationally, while the 369 676 are in position of employment.
The current 2014 Labour Force Survey (LFS) reiterates that employed men outnumber women nationally particularly in urban areas where employment opportunities are more available than in rural areas compared to rural areas where there is no major difference in the population of employed men and women.
The total number of the employed population in the rural areas is 322 358, and of this total, the number of employed women is 161 504 whilst the number of employed men is 160 854.
However, the total number of those employed in the urban areas is 390 394 with men constituting 208 822 of that total whilst women only constitute 181 572 of the total employed persons in the urban areas.
The LFS noted that females account for the majority of the inactive population with a total of 56.2%, a trend which is further consistently reflected across the rural/urban.
The LFS showed that in 2014, the unemployment rate for women was 31.7%, 7.4% points less than the unemployment rate of males that was 24.3%.
The highest unemployment rate for the female population was recorded in Otjozondjupa and Omahake with 46.2 and 42.3% respectively while the highest unemployment rate for the male population was in the Ohangwena and Kavango East with 46.6% and 32.4% respectively.
The Acting Statistician General (SG), Liina Kafidi said there was an increase of 4.3% points of the urban population from 43.1% in 2013 to 47.4% in 2014.
Kafidi added that the working age population which is 15 and older increased to 49 216 persons, adding, that the survey recorded a slight increase of 10 207 persons in the LFS participation. In 2013, the working age was 980 781 persons while in 2014 it was 990 998.
Meanwhile, there was a total of 22 733 new entries to employment in the 2014 LFS whilst a reduction of 12 517 persons in the unemployment category of the labour force was seen.
“The broadly defined unemployment rate is estimated at 28.1%, which is 1.5% point’s drop from the rate of 29.6% reported in 2013 labour force survey,” noted Kafidi.
She also reaffirmed that the survey was conducted on a sample basis covering a representative sample of 10 296 households which were selected from all 14 regions, adding that it is the first survey of this kind to include all fourteen regions.
“Same methodologies, concepts, and definitions were used to measure labour force indicators and these make it possible to compare data from the two previous labour force surveys,” said Kafidi.
The LFS saw a response rate of 95%, which was an improvement from the 2013 survey response rate of 93.4%.
Currently, males have a higher employment to ratio absorption rate of 54.1% than females whose employment rate is 45.5% and the people having a teacher’s training qualification have the highest absorption rate of 90.2%.
The LFS noted that this is somewhat higher than people with postgraduates are university, and certificates and diplomas at 87.8%, 77.5%, and 57.1% respectively, adding, persons with the lowest absorption rates are those having primary, junior secondary and no formal education with absorption rates of 44.4%, 45.2% and 49.9% respectively.
A total of 41.1% of the Namibian employed population (which is 712 752) are employed in the informal sector of which 37.7% are female and 44.3% are males.
“In addition over half of the employed population in urban areas, about 59% are in the informal employment, while employees in the informal employment in rural areas were 19.3%. The region with the highest percentage of the employed population in the informal employment is !Karas with 70.4% and the region with the lowest percentage is Kavango West with 12.1% respectively,” noted the LFS.
Despite the new entries to employment being 22 733 persons, the LFS added that in this there was vulnerable employment of214 704 of the employed population (712 752) which accounts for 30.1% of the total employed population.
“Vulnerable employment is calculated as the sum of own-account workers and contributing family workers, taken as a proportion of total employment. It is a measure of those with relatively precarious working situations. These two status groups are considered as more vulnerable than others, because this people are unlikely to have formal work arrangements or access to benefits or social protection programmes, and they are more at risk to the effects of economic cycles. Most of the vulnerable workers 47.6% and 32.0% are subsistence/communal farmers and our own account workers respectively,” noted the report in part.
Meanwhile, compared to 2013’s unemployment rate that was 29.6%, the 2014 unemployment rate was 28.1%, a decrease of 1.5%.
by Charmaine Ngatjiheue: The Villager