200,000 jobs bonanza real – World Bank

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GOVERNMENT is likely to attain the 200,000 job creation target for this year if it focuses on major policies that will stimulate economic growth at a faster rate, the World Bank has said.
Between 140,000 and 150,000 new jobs are created in the labour force market annually.
World Bank sector leader and lead economist for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, Praveen Kumar, said with the country’s economy growing at an average rate of seven percent, employment creation could be at a faster rate.
“Two hundred thousand jobs as projected by the Government is realistic looking at the trend in job creation in the past few years, at five million people in labour force and the rate growing at less than three percent, roughly between 140,000 and 150,000 jobs are created every year,” he said.
Mr Praveen said this when he appeared before the parliamentary committee on economic affairs in Lusaka yesterday.
He, however, said the bank has not seen major pronouncements on economic policies that are aimed at intensifying job creation in the past few years.
Mr Praveen commended Government for stepping up public investment programmes to create more jobs, particularly in construction sector.
He further said public sector jobs grew by 22 percent, representing a 0.2 percentage point increase in the number of people employed in the public sector between 2008 and 2012.
Meanwhile, Mr Praveen called for the provision of political commitment to improve the statistical system in the country.
He said addressing governance and institutional challenges facing the statistical system should also be considered as possible interventions to further improve the current system of capturing employment related data.
Mr Praveen said the country’s population and labour force is young and growing fast.
In 2010, 130,000 young workers were added to the labour force while 300,000 are expected to be added to the labour force by 2030.
He said in the last four years, jobs have been created at the same rate as the growth rate in the labour force, leaving the unemployment rate largely unchanged.
Mr Praveen said between 2008 and 2012, a net increase of 892,827 in jobs was recorded.
This increase represents 19 percent growth in the number of jobs in 2012 compared to 2008.
In the 2014 national budget, Government has set a target of creating 200,000 decent jobs.