Rwanda's unemployment rate rises sharply to 16.7 pct due to new definition

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-09 20:08:36|Editor: liuxin
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KIGALI, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda's unemployment stood at 16.7 percent as of this February, showed a labor force survey released Monday by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).

The rise in the unemployment was due to changes in definition of employment, said Yusuf Murangwa, Director General of NISR, when releasing the survey in the capital city of Kigali.

The new international standards recognize work and employment differently, for example, work for own use production, mainly subsistence agriculture is not considered employment but rather work, said the director, adding that this excludes subsistence farmers from employment hence increasing the unemployment rate.

According to the survey, out of over 11.6 million Rwandans, 6.7 million are working age population, who are 16 years and above. Persons in employment are those aged 16 and above who are engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services in exchange for pay or profit, according to Murangwa.

Under the previous definition, as of February, 2017, Rwanda's unemployment stood at 4.5 percent, the youth unemployment rate was 7.1 percent, said the survey. While under the new definition, the youth unemployment rate was 21 as of February, it said.

Percentage of Rwandans working in agriculture was 68 percent under the previous definition and 45.9 percent under the new one, according to the survey.

It indicated that about half of the working age bracket population were out of employment owing to various factors, including retirement, studies, and illness among others.

The 19th International Labor Organization conference of labor statisticians held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2013 resolved on new standards and definitions regarding statistics of work, employment and labor underutilization. The new standards and definitions replaced those of the 13th conference held in 1982.