Zambia’s employment rate goes up 50 per cent

File:Youths queing for Police recruitment at Sikanze Camp

THE number of Zambians in formal employment has increased by 50 per cent from 500,000 to 750,000 this year following a steady rise in job opportunities being created in the mining, agriculture, construction and other sectors of the economy.

And Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane has said the style of politics being advanced by Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata was hurting the economy because investors were reacting cautiously to his scary political posture.

Dr Musokotwane said in an interview during the on-going tour of Luapula Province that the remaining 6 million people who are statistically eligible to formal jobs would be swallowed within the next five years following the speedy rise in the number of job opportunities.

The minister attributed the development to the good policies being promoted by President Rupiah Banda and his administration.

He said the number of jobs remained static at 500,000 from about 2000 but had only started picking in the last two years following an economic drive that boosted growth across all sectors.

Dr Musokotwane said the Government would continue recreating efforts aimed at boosting economic growth from the annual average of 7 per cent to double digits to fast track job creation.

This would be done with a parallel programme that would seek to encourage investors to spend on the social sector to benefit ordinary Zambians and address complaints that they were not benefiting from the growth and the mines.

Dr Musokotwane said investors had been monitoring statements from opposition leaders such as Mr Sata who had been fighting to garner power with high rates of inconsistencies.

He said Zambia was enjoying a good period in keeping growth with world renowned mining companies such as First Quantum Minerals (FQM) limited investing US$3 million while Lumwana had invested $1 million and more confidence was needed for government to meet its targets.

Dr Musokotwane said Mr Sata was on record as threatening to nationalise Zambian private companies, reintroducing the rare windfall taxes and condemning the fight against corruption but had been flip-flopping every other month.

“The Zambian people should not experiment with futility because this is not the first time that we have recorded growth but all that disappeared because we wasted opportunities and the gains were reversed,” Dr Musokotwane said.

He also said Mr Sata’s continued remarks that the development projects being undertaken by President Banda were initiated by late President Levy Mwanawasa were baseless because the current Government had been generating revenue to run some projects which were at foundation level.

Dr Musokotwane said inheriting progressive projects that were started by Dr Mwanawasa was part of good governance because it was the same Government and that projects being started now by President Banda would still be continued another leader who would take over in 2016.

At a public rally in Chongwe last week, Chongwe MP Sylvia Masebo said the hospital was started by Dr Mwanawasa and not President Banda which Dr Musokotwane said was irregular because the project was at foundation stage and the money used to construct the hospital was raised from taxes paid in 2009 and 2010.

Dr Musokotwane said following the construction of a High School, a hospital, street lights and a water treatment plant, the Government had now decided to construct similar projects in districts that did not benefit and urged Zambians to ignore Mr Sata and Ms Masebo’s remarks

[Times of Zambia]


  1. this is nothing but mocking the many youths who are not employed ! anyway, thats what happens wen government officials make statements with their heads full of beer. may God help us !

  2. People seem to work hard pa zed during election time,I suggest we have elections every year so we can develop.

  3. It seems it is our culture of late in Zambia to always look at the negative. This growth in the employment number is no mean achievement. Lets give credit where it is due.

  4. This is good news because for a long time now, employment has been static. This just shows that jobs are actually being created.

  5. Musokotwane, your statement is full of contradictions. Were you drunk like Dora?
    If MMD only managed to create an absurdly and a partly 500,000 jobs in 20years they have been in power what magic do they have to create 6 million jobs in 5years?
    Please stop taking Zambians for f00ls.
    On the other hand, Sata is a political force to reckon with, you can only ignore him at your own peril.

  6. I guess it’s hard to work for times of Zambia,reading the article above you can see how that the writer was under instructions.why can’t the minister of finance just report and trust us to make clever conclusions without making it obvious that it is a campaign strategy by telling us Sata is working against this good beautiful was it going to taste if for once Sata was left could have been a convincing statistics and who could have bothered with Sata’s 90 days promise. Now I’m not sure what to believe.

  7. Sata has no knowledge about how the economy works, if he won elections (which will never happen) there would be chaos in the country, Zambia would lose all the foreign investment it has attracted. 

    No one can listen to what Masebo is saying, she is a political prostitute, she moved from MMD to FDD and said bad things about MMD and then came back to MMD and said bad things about FDD and now that she has joined PF, we don’t expect her to say good things about the ruling party. 

  8. 6million eligible for employment and 750,000 unemployed and people are praising. 750000/6000000×100 represents 12.5% employment levels meaning unemployment is 87.5%. No wonder they failed give these figures in Parliament. Dr Musokotwane is becoming very dull by the day. And keep in mind the population of Zambia is much more than we are being told. No wonder final Census results will not be seen any time today. They use outdated methods to conduct census.

  9. I like the way they present the data, one would have thought half the population of those entitled to work are now in formal employment. This 750 000 how many more are out there that are supposed to be in formal employment but are not. I’m not saying the increase is bad, it’s obviously good news but it’s better to give a true picture of the unemployment/informal v employed/formal. 

  10. Like we have been saying, employment is on the increase under RB. Not this moron who is busy hoodwinking us with his 90 days crap. What we are seeing in the mines is a clear demonstration of hard work on the mmd’s part. Mines are opening everywhere with prospects to offer even more jobs. The kaponya party can not much this achievement which obviously did not start yesterday. Proactive policies are beginning to pay diffident. Not I will restore your dignity in 90 days as if the mongrel is talking to kids at kindergaten. We dont need trash from recycled and fake rejects who have teamed up in the party of fools. HH is better, how I wish he cold join mmd not kaponyas, already he is regretting with his ,marriage of convenience with fools which desttryed him.

  11. Masebo, your employers(people of Zambia) built that hospital from the taxes, sweat and toil of hard work. Quit glorifying personality cults and for once acknowledge that we put you there to do our bidding and not the other way around.

    The next thing you’ll be saying Sata this sata that and yet the ballot was determined by us the people. This must be a warning to those seeking regime change.

  12. Don’t believe everything in black and white … the real figures are far below that. The Labour Force Survey was undertaken in 2007 and up to now the results have not been released because the Minister was upset with the results and had asked CSO to do SOMETHING because there was no change in unemployment levels … even the growth they’ve been talking about can not be statistically worked out unless by crooks law.

  13. These MMD ministers are all liars, very disappointing that a Finance Minister would lie like this?? How can we trust you with our National Funds Mr. Liar???

    MMD has a serious Disease. Ba Musokotwane Mwa Joiner Naimwe sure?? You are the only man I had trusted in MMD.

    Wow SATA will win this time around.

  14. # 10 — Dont be quick to make statements. 750 000 is just for the formal employment. Informal employment is employment too. The calculation youve put across is one sided. The govt is working looking at where we are comming from. Sata is sssssick. Vote Sata Vote by election. The world will laugh at us.

  15. Those are desperate lies 0.25 million more jobs? Where are the stats coming from apart from his mouth. Malabishi

  16. @7. You raise an interetsing point that MMD has had 20 years to reduce the unemployment numbers which they have failed to do and they are reporting a meagre change. You suprisingly forget or ignore the fact that Sata was part and parcel of Government and MMD policy making during 10 of that 20 years. Indeed MMD should be magicians to eliminate the 6 million figure in the next five years. Indeed Sata should like wise be a magician to be able to eliminate this figure as well since he already failed for the entire 10 years that he was in government.

  17. #7 This is an honest and fair assessment of the situation. Your Sata has promised 6m + jobs in 90 days and even export some.

  18. I thought this 750,000 is for formal employment. If there was a way of capturing the informal sector then that would be nice. Maybe Sata should concentrate on this issue than the 90 gibberish.

    Seriously we would have been in maningi trouble if these 750,000 are the only ones employed!

  19. In 2000 the number of formal sector workers was 300 000. This was a reduction from 450 000 workers during the UNIP reign. According to ILO data the number of formal sector workers in 2010 stood at 700 000. So we are being told that this number has increased by 50 000 to 750 000 in 2011! From these figures we can deduce that only 300 000 jobs have been created between 1991 and 2011. Thus on average only 15 000 jobs are been created annually. Nevertheless we should also factor in; the growth in Agricultural production which has increased self-employment on the part of small scale farmers who actually make more money annually than some workers in ‘formal employment’.

  20. # 19 & 20..
    If MMD failed to create jobs during the time Sata was in govt, it cannot be blamed on Sata as an individual but the govt of the day. In fact Sata performed in every position he worked be it in UNIP or MMD govts.
    Conversely, rupiah was in UNIP for a long time and we all know how he failed to deliver in each and every portfolio KK tried him. If rupiah lamentably failed to deliver as MD, governor, minister etc, how do you reconcile his claims of success today when he is head of state when he has a wrap sheet of failures as long as your eyes can see?
    Given the above, Sata stands far better chances to do even greater.

  21. You satanist are boring to engage constructively because u exist in an imaginery world created by the ring leader. It does not make sense to keep denying what you can see with your eyes. It more decent to offer solutions and alternatives than to just insult as you all do in your party. I was suprised to hear comrade Sata acknowledge the dancing queens as employment, watch repair along cairo road as employment during his Hot FM interview. Its a circus guys. If you think this is bad, it will be worse with SATA. Comrade SATA is a communist, like Mmembe. they cant exist in a libralised enviroment. Sata, must state clearly what his idealogy is.

  22. The thing that is wrong with our politics is that, they are void of ideologies. Its strange that an MP can switch parties in a minute without considering the matter. If you go to PF, you are saying yes to GAY rights, You are saying yes to COMMUNISM, You are saying yes to NATIONALISATION, You are saying yes to EXCHANGE CONTROLS, basically you are saying yes to a different style of government. So how can a ‘democrat’ like Mbita Chitala, just ignore all that and join? How???? These others like Masebo, Mulongoti, Mangani are not worth the discussion because I think they are incapable of even understanding the issues. They are in this for survival.

  23. 750,000 jobs in 20 yrs of power. What a shambolic and bollocks goverment. With all the wealth at Zambias disposal and in 20 yrs you manege 750000 jobs! and dont forget jobs, inclusive, taken up by those who have bought work visas which are on sale at the immigration dpt. lets dump these underperforming crooks. It is time for someone to bring dignity to Zambians and make them belive we can do it. Sata says he can bring that dignity and selfbelive in 90 days. Lets do go for it.

  24. Hon. Dr. that is interesting bcoz only very recently Dora was talking of government creating 50,000 jobs in the next 5 years, thus 10,000 jobs per annum. Let us be serious with national issues! Don’t be fooed that politics is a game, you are dealing with human lives.

  25. #26 You are right on the money . I cannot agree with you more. People just dont understand what PF is and boy I pit them

  26. In contrast to what PF cadres say, Mr Sata’s solution is to send unemployed youth to Afghanistan.

  27. @23. Well articulated and well argued. For me though, the key thing is collective responsibility. Those that served in the Kaunda, Chiluba, Levy and now RB’s regimes as cabinet ministers had the chance to contribute in cabinet on how to effectively curb unemployement. If Sata (whilst he was Minister for 10 years) and RB (whilst as minister during Kaunda & Levy’s tenures and whilst as president now) had floated any meaningful ideas to cabinet, those ideas would have been adopted and we would have had far much more than 750,000 in formal employment today (after 47 years of independence).

    Back to your earlier point, they both have to be magicians to create 6million jobs in 5 years. Only the likes of HH, Milupi, Chipimo etc arent as liable to this state of affairs as these two men.

  28. Its a great achievement by government not forgetting that in the last 20 years the following has happened
    1. Restucturing of the UNIP socialist economy
    2. Recession
    3. Attraction of huge FDI to a country which had 124% inflation in 1992

    The point is KK structured the Zambian economy in a way in which it could not attract investment and create employment. Its taken 20 years to restructure and the foundation is now in place for growth and the fruits are starting to bear. No 90 day economist can understand the complexity of the world economic environment today. Its a great achievement by no means for the government. Hope we have leant some lessons never to repeat again

  29. HUH!!!!!! Musokotwane needs to start being serious… honestly at his age and in his role peddling lies… ati 250,000 being created between 2008 and 2011.!!!.. this man has no intergity left in him is he had any.. zero zilch.. nada… a period when apart from the global crunch, he and his minions retrenched 2000 people alone at ZAMTEL.. besides the figure is too much even if there was some growth.. Who would have employed all those people???

  30. No33  Have you seen the services Zamtel is now providing after 2000 people were retrenched? Zamtel is not an NGO to just employ people…  Tell me about Telkom in your South Africa? Have you seen what happens when government runs business? I thought you would have a bit of some brains staying in South Africa

  31. We have eyes but we dont see. i fail to understand pipo supporting the above statement. which job creation is he talking abt? recently george kunda shot down the motion to have labour statistics in plce. it was going to show us hw many pipo are readuating per annun and hw amny are getting employed.lets looki at things objectively. we are slaves in our ow land. we have graduate who cannot find jobs and those who have found jobs are paid peanuts. a graduate in the era is as good as nothing. this shows that our current governmnt does not value education.hwo many middle nd high management jobs have been created?? we refuse to continue like this. its really embarasing to have a head of state of who is vengeful. o he cares abt is his stay in state house.

  32. The BOZ has job openings in one of the dailies and the requirements are beyond the reach of the unemployed e.g a cashier must have an MBA. Are these the jobs Musokotwane is talking about?

  33. zambia is ranked 2nd and 7th largest producer of cobalt and copper in the world. Not to mention precious stones, but we are still in the poorest country catigory. MMD has had 20 yrs to try to take us out of there. We are still there with countries like Rwanda and others with no mineral wealth doing better then us. If it was not for KK there would be no Infrastructure in Zambia only manda hill and arcades. So 20 yrs and a shamfull 750000 jobs created ?. Unemployment still, at its best at around 80%. See the sobering fact – 20 yrs in power and you priside over 80% unemployment and want another 5 yrs ? MMD stop depressing the Zambian pipo and just announce the day of the end of our economic emancipation.

  34. Some comments above makes one laugh. I wonder how old some of the commentators are? You know Zambia has Least Developed Country (LDC) status created by KK with his erstwhile spend thrift ways. (We had debts in excess of $6.4m,now written off of course). KK had to do what he did. Liberate southern Africa. Zambians have benefitted from jobs and business by opening up RSA, Zimbabwe, Namibia etc. Chiluba had no choice either. He had to restructure the economy. Clearly all this has caused a lot of pain and suffering.

    But it is important to understand the history. Now the climate is right it is up to each individual to work hard and stop whinging. Granted we must also fight for empowerment on top of jobs.

  35. And by the way I am guessing that the 250k refers to formal employment. Peasantly is not being counted although I would argue it is also employment. Self employment is a reality that is not acknowledged or recognised in Zambia and that is a shame.

    Well done Zambia although there is still loads to do.

  36. Less than 1 million out of 7 million unemployed is not good news and it is not right for the Minister to be giving figures only for the employed. Unemployment figures should be the main focus, and what measures are been done to create jobs. Poor performance should not be blamed on the opposition, they are like competitors in the market who runs a successful  advert and customers are attracted to them. The opposition are campaigning better  and offering a better solution to their problems and people are listening. 

  37. shocking figures nothing for the government to smile about …….we really have to invest more money in agricultural it’s the only way we’ll get people employed / and able to feed themselves …goverment needs to mark targets on employment …….200, 000 in 2 years is amazing but what the hell have you been doing for the past 10?

  38. one last thing 85% of zambia’s employment is in agriculture substance farming + formal , our unemployment rate stood at 50% in 2000 

  39. @39 Witness; Please learn to tell the truth. Rwanda is not doing better than Zambia. Zambia is far much advanced than Rwanda. To start with Rwanda’s per capita income is about $500. Their biggest company is a Brewery with a turnover of less than $120m. Mobile phone subscription is about 400 000. Total installed electricity generation capacity in Rwanda is only 52MW. Of course Rwanda has a high growth rate of 7% per annum but this is at a low starting point of $4.5bn GDP. Zambia’s GDP is $15.69bn with a per capita income of $1268 and with an economic growth rate of 7% there is no way Rwanda can match up with Zambia.

  40. 20 yrs of MMD and all you have is 7.6% growth rate considering we have had no civil war and are a rich country. while, with no wealth to mention and litrally stating from 1994 when the genocide killed up to 1 million pipo, rwanda has a groth rate of 7%. The clear winner hear is Rwanda. MMD have wasited our time and wealth, we are still one of the poorest countries in the world, but notably rich with resources.

  41. @ Witness. You’re not considering history. I was born in 1989 and I’m relatively young- but I know enough about the history of Zambia and Southern Africa to say that KK ruined Zambia’s economy. KK did a relatively good job of nation building, but his socialist ways and his desire to liberate Southern Africa cost Zambia A LOT of money. By the time MMD came into power in 1991 there were mass food lines, structural unemployment and inflation was wildly out of control. Inflation used to be 100%+ now its between 8-12% on average. In 1991 there was economic attrition, now we have great economic growth. Jobs haven’t been created as fast as any one would have liked, but these things work in a “J” curve….the beginnings are slow but that changes fast

  42. The only reason the formal employment figures have gone up is because of high copper prices. If the same had happened during KK’s or Dr Chiluba’s time, formal employment figures would be much higher and most major companies and projects would still be under the state especially during KK’s time.(as it should be). If for one reason or another copper prices went down below USD2,000 per tonne, formal employment figures would go down below 300,000. The high copper prices are not due to RB’s policies, they are high due to external factors that no politician can claim responsibility for. The best the government of the day can do is encourage the manufacture of finished copper products so that value can be added to raw copper that is all been exported with little benefit to the country.

  43. Unemployment will be dealt with in a big way over the next few years if the economy continues to grow as it has, this is only natural. The reality is that if you don’t understand the depth of the lows that Zambia’s economy reached, you can’t appreciate this positive news. You’re short sighted, but this can be fixed. Do some reading and come to better conclusions otherwise you will choose a leader that will repeat the mistakes of the past. Some key things that will really change Zambia are further reductions in inflation, fisher’s equation shows that this will continue to occur as inflation falls. For example if nominal interest rates are currently about 30% but inflation is currently 10%…real interest rates will be 20%. As such further reductions in

  44. inflation will lead to reductions in the nominal interest rates. Another reason why interest rates are high is because of the high default rate in Zambia. Part of this is an inverse virtouous cycle with the lofty interest rates causing entrepreneurs to default because the capital is too expensive. However that said, a lot of companies in Zambia have profit margins above 25% which is rare in the US….I’ve spoken to Zambian banking executives about this and they say that corporate governance is by far one of the reason interest rates are high…..essentially the default risk forces banks to do this. A lot of this has to do with the way Zambian’s structure their companies, usually as small family firms…add the nepotism that is common place and you have badly run companies.

  45. The solution here is for Zambian’s to govern their companies better. All in all what I’m trying to say is this. The government has the job of regulating the economy and doing its best to create an atmosphere of economic, social and judicial stability. To a good extent its done this, I’d say a lot more work can be done in the judicial area. So what can the people of Zambia do to change its situation? They can start creating a lot more well managed companies. The capital is there, present a good business plan…do some networking and get an experienced set of people to join your board..get a good team together and execute. We need to work more/complain less. Be positive and start to make change as opposed to endlessly complaining and doing nothing.

  46. The picture by LT above speaks louder than the lies from Minister Musokotwane. He is just as desperate as RB …. having been there for less than 3 years. This time next year, we’ll be lecturing together at unza so just improve the salaries bwana instead of lying. Ministirual jobs ain’t permanent … ask how many people sacrifised their intergrity just to endure that someone went thru and were fired by the very person

  47. @ Thoughts.
    You are about the same age as MMD have been in power and with all our wealth you have only 750000 jobs todate ? and more than 80% unemployment ? It is a crime to condone these shamfull figures. Do you know how rich in resources Zambia is, do some research. And i think 20 yrs is too long for any party to realise and use those reasources- MMD have failed that is the argument. I was born during KKs time and can tell you all the buildings you see were build by KK except of course manda hill and arcades. If all the infrastructure KK left is costed and MMDs infrastructure in there 20 yrs, you would see what time wasiters MMD have been..

  48. The rise toked about is suprizn.Some of us we ve got papers required up now nothing we are nt employed.Personally l have taken letter to different Govmt ministry up now their is no response.My freinds with lower papers with connections in the govmt are enjoying.Does it mean now we should be votn 4 relatives 2 have employmnt?

  49. it is good news that employment figures are on the rise unlike much of the developed world where there is heavy unemployment,keep it going we all want to come back home.

  50. What a shame to our leaders just imagine out of 13,000,000people only less than a million people are in formal employement, this is total failure on our leaders who dont care about their people ,yet zambia endored with mineral reasorces untapped vast land for farming to mention a few

  51. eh people cant read didn’t i just mention zambia’s total uneployment rate was 50% in 2000 this figure is only half the picture ps : love them or hate them the mmd has done a lot for the country since the economy crashed in the late 80’s

  52. Give praise where its due. MMD is doing well so far on world rating. It’s impossible for Sata with his small brained Lieutenants to understand. Their response will only be Donchi Kubeba.what ever that freaking term means.

  53. You are all sick! Mining is an environmental disaster. In 20 years time, all the copper will runout and we will go back to Kaunda era, what happens to the gaping holes the Chinese will have left? I cannot be proud of this employment creation to say the least.
    Employment in Agriculture is far much better. Grow Moringa tree and you have a miracle; if you dont know what this is please email me on [email protected]

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