Zim's mining, manufacturing sectors shed 30 100 jobs

HARARE - The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) says 30 100 workers lost their jobs in the mining and manufacturing sectors last year.

“There has been a decline in the number of people employed in the manufacturing sector from 118 600 employees to 93 100 in 2014 and the mining sector from 43 000 employees to 38 400,” said Mutasa Dzinotizei, Zimstat director general.

This comes as Zimbabwe’s moribund economy is forcing many companies to either retrench or scale down operations to stay afloat in a challenging environment characterised by high production and labour costs, lack of cheap credit lines and electricity shortages among other things.

According to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa 4 600 companies closed down between 2011 and October 2014, resulting in 64 000 job losses.

Dzinotizei recently told delegates attending a dissemination workshop for the 2014 Labour Force and Child Labour survey results that despite the decline in formal employment other sectors, mainly informal, had recorded increases in employment figures.

Sectors that showed gains are distribution, restaurants and hotels which increased from 74 900 employees to 82 000 employees.

Transport and communications also recorded a swell in employment figures, employing approximately 31 200 to 35 500 employees.

According to the survey, 6,3 million Zimbabweans above the age of 15 are gainfully employed with approximately 859 060 employed in the informal sector.

The survey states that the highest proportion of the employed population is in the agricultural sector at 61 percent. 

The figures come in the wake of wage disputes between mining companies and mining labour unions over wage increases.

Earlier during the year, government proposed to merge all diamond mining operations in the country, in which the State will have a 50 percent share holding and gave miners up to March 15 to accept the proposal.

However, fears are rife that more jobs will likely be lost due to the merger as workers in the diamond sector are opposing the merger proposal.

Sources at the Associated Mineworkers Union of Zimbabwe (Amuz) told the businessdaily yesterday that more jobs were to be lost in the “forced merger”

In manufacturing, while a Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) (PMI) above 50 percent means the manufacturing sector is growing and expanding, the country’s manufacturing sector recorded a PMI of 43,5 percent according to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.

This PMI indicated further shrinkage in the manufacturing sector, leading to more retrenchments and company closures.

Comments (1)

I guess all these job losses are making way for the 2M to be created on election night.

Galore 123 - 15 April 2015

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