Harare, Byo has lowest economic activity rate


HARARE and Bulawayo have the lowest economic activity rate despite having the largest economically active workforce, a new survey has shown.


According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency’s (Zimstat) new Inter-Censal Demographic Survey (ICDS) of 2017, Matabeleland North had the largest proportion of the economically active persons.

“Of the total number of economically active persons, the largest proportion is in Matabeleland North with an activity rate of 83. Harare and Bulawayo, the two predominantly urban provinces, have the lowest activity rate of 58,” Zimstat said.
“The categories of ‘own account worker agriculture’, ‘paid employee’ and ‘own account worker other’, in that order, have the highest proportion of the economically active persons for all provinces. Harare and Bulawayo are dominated by ‘paid employee’, ‘own account worker other’ and ‘unemployed’ categories. The ‘employer’ category has the least proportion of economically active persons for all provinces.”

Zimstat said Harare is highest in three categories namely; employers 53%, unemployed 33% and own account worker 28%.

The survey said Harare and Bulawayo had the largest economically inactive economic activity compared to all provinces was that the majority of economically active in other provinces were communal farm workers and farmers.

Statistics show that most of the communal land is outside Harare and Bulawayo, thus the reason behind the two cities having the lowest economic activity.

The agricultural sector employs the majority of the working population at 3 121 851 and of these 98,5% reside in the rural areas.

Of all the provinces, Mashonaland Central and Masvingo have the highest economic activity at 77,9 and 75,1, respectively.
The services sector is the second biggest employer of the economically active, at 574 184.

According to the ICDS 2017, the population age 15 years and above for Zimbabwe is 8 072 178, of which, 60% are economically active. This means that as much as 3 228 871 of the country’s total active workforce are unemployed.

In a further breakdown, of the economically active population, 7% are unemployed whilst 93% are employed which includes formal and informal.

“…of the employed persons enumerated in Zimbabwe, the majority at 56% are communal farmers/communal farm workers while the other employed persons are 44%. The proportion of communal farmers as a percentage of employed persons is highest in Matabeleland North (82%) and least in Harare (1%),” Zimstat said.

The survey also found that Harare has the highest proportion of the economically active males, while Matabeleland South has the least. For females, Manicaland has the highest proportion of economically active at 14% and Bulawayo has the least at 5%.


  1. Misleading headline the size of economically active proportion of the population doesn’t mean level of economic activity.POOR Journalism

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