Unemployment rate increases

27 March 2014 Author   Kaula Nhongo

front Steytler 28 marTHE Namibia Labour Force Survey 2013 presented yesterday shows that the unemployment rate has increased by 2.2 percent while 41 percent of the youth remain unemployed. Statistician General John Steytler attributed the increase in unemployment to a lack of, or low qualifications that would allow people to find employment. “The jobs are there, but people are not qualified and the global economy was also a contributory factor to the increase in unemployment,” he said.

The survey shows that in 2012 there were 172,222 unemployed youth, which increased by 10,340 to 294,202 unemployed youth in 2013.

Overall, the report shows that 70.4 percent of Namibia’s labour force have gainful employment, which shows a significant increase of 59,925.

However, many of these were temporary jobs, and by the time the NSA concluded the survey the numbers had dropped.

This explained why the unemployment rate increased to 29.2 percent in 2013 compared to 27.4 percent reported in 2012.

Steytler said that the increase in the number of persons employed was important for Namibia and by engaging more of the population in employment this trend could hopefully continue.

He added that the rise in the number of persons employed was especially noteworthy when viewed within the context of the last year.

“2013 was a year in which Namibia was ravaged by drought, which had severe direct and indirect economic implications.

“The global economy was also very fragile and one cannot underestimate the knock-on effect that had on Namibia,” he said.

The rest of the report showed that 50.8 percent of all households in Namibia survive on salaries and wages as their main source of income, 9.5 percent said allowances while 7 percent sustained themselves through business activities (non-agricultural).

The data shows that the majority of the increase in the labour force occurred among female labour force participants.

There were 515,277 female labour force participants in 2013 compared to 440,562 in 2012 showing an increase of 74,715.

Overall Namibia’s population grew by 41,000 to 2,127,013 people compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, Governor of the Bank of Namibia Ipumbu Shiimi also spoke about the increase in unemployment yesterday. He said unemployment remained high because the growth in the economy came from sectors that did not create employment such as mining because the mining industry relied heavily on machinery.

He added that if the country could achieve higher growth from other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, logistics and housing that had a high demand for human resources then employment opportunities would increase.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

Contact Us

Windhoek Observer House
c/o John Meinert & Rossini Street
Windhoek West
Tel: +264 61 411 800
Fax: +264 61 226 098