Formal employment in Tanzania on the decline

Tuesday December 3 2019

office

Colleagues at work. The number of Tanzanians in formal employment has been dropping over the past five years, according to a recently-released National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) labour market report. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By The EastAfrican

The number of Tanzanians in formal employment in government (civil service) and the private sector has been dropping over the past five years, according to a recently-released National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) labour market report.

The report says new jobs in the private sector hit a low of 137,054 in 2017/18, about a third of the 408,756 jobs created in 2013/14.

Employment within the civil service also declined sharply from 49,615 in 2013/14 to 18,000 in 2017/18, although government-backed development projects saw an upturn in job creation numbers from 172,245 to 397,009 in the same period.

The report, titled “Tanzania in Figures 2018” summarises key socio-economic characteristics and selected development indicators for the country from 2013 to 2018. The data is useful for policymakers in planning, monitoring and evaluating development programmes.

According to the report, Tanzania’s labour force grew from 22.3 million to 24.3 million between 2014 and 2018. The official unemployment rate was estimated to have declined from 10.3 per cent in 2014 to 9.7 per cent in 2018.

Official statistics also highlight changes in employment distribution ratios in the economic sector in the past 10 years, with Tanzanians active in the agricultural sector dropping from 73.41 per cent in 2008 to 66.35 per cent by 2018.

Advertisement

In contrast, the employment ratio for industry rose from 5.67 per cent to 7.07 per cent, and that for services also increased from 22.94 per cent to 26.58 per cent during the same period.

A recent Economist Intelligence Unit report stated that protectionist tendencies and erratic policy-making were becoming a problem in Tanzania and could deter future private investment.

According to the NBS’s latest Household Budget Survey report, just 12.3 per cent of households have at least one member who has a bank account, down from 18 per cent in 1991/92. Households in urban areas (23.8 per cent) were about four times more likely to have members with bank accounts than those in rural areas (6.1 per cent).

The discrepancy was noted across the country, from 31.4 per cent of households in Dar es Salaam to only 2.3 per cent in Kigoma.

Advertisement