‘Employment data grossly underrepresented’

LABOUR expert, Godfrey Kanyenze yesterday said the absence of up-to-date scientific labour market data was frustrating efforts to address the country’s rising unemployment levels.

BY TINOTENDA MUNYUKWI

Kanyenze, who heads the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (Ledriz), made the remarks in Harare during a labour symposium jointly organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Labour ministry.

He said the available labour market data lacked integrity and it was important to learn from other countries that regularly update their data and make consistent policy adjustments as a way of addressing unemployment levels.

“Our labour market data lacks integrity and we do not have up-to-date statistics on anything. We really need to focus on this because if you look at other countries now, they have concrete data on employment,” Kanyenze said.

“Some of the statistics we have been using are based on known contributions to NSSA [National Social Security Authority] and we are saying we need to review these things, maybe on a quarterly or yearly basis, to have accurate data before we can proffer solutions to address the issue.”

The government is presently using data from a 2014 labour force survey, which does not capture the latest changes on the job market, where thousands of workers have been thrown into the informal sector due to the harsh economic climate.

Speaking at the same event, Labour minister Petronella Kagonye said government was in the process of reviewing all facets pertaining to labour so that Zimbabwe could upgrade to current international trends.

“We do have policies in place, though they need review and we are in the process of aligning our policies, our laws and our legislation with current trends and current labour practices,” she said.

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