Unemployment Hits Youth, Women Hardest
The latest figures from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) put Zambia’s labour force at an estimated 5,049,059 people in 2017, with a slightly higher proportion of men (2,759,098) than women (2,289,961).
Lusaka province accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s total labour force at 23.4%, followed by Copperbelt province at 18.1%. Muchinga has the smallest proportion with just 4.3%.
Unemployment figures are notoriously unreliable but rates are thought to be around the 41.2% mark, with particularly high rates for youths of around 48.6%. Of the 2,971,170 thought to have been in employment in 2017, the findings of the 2017 Labour Force Survey suggest that 24.1% of these were in formal employment, with 75.9% employed in the informal sector. The unemployment rate among females was higher at 48.8% than for males at 34.8%. The CSO is expected to reveal a further breakdown of figures by sector in its full report.