Economic climate dampens job market

Economic climate dampens job market

Post was last updated: January 23, 2023

 The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says unemployment in Malawi and other low-income countries in Africa is expected to rise this year heightened by the subdued economic environment.

In its 2023 Global Employment Trends and Social Outlook, ILO says economic vulnerabilities, which have been prevalent in 2022 are expected to rise in 2023 and lead to indebtedness among workers and deterioration of working conditions for many workers.

The report, which is an annual update on key labour market indicators and trends focusing on job trends, says in lower-income countries such as Malawi unemployment rates are projected to remain more than one percentage point above last year.

Reads the report: “Myriad of decent work deficits are likely to worsen in the face of global economic conditions and long-term challenges mostly in developing countries.

“As countries continue to experience difficult conditions, it will be essential not only to protect jobs, but also to ensure that economic activity can rebound.”

 Commenting on the report, Employers Consultative Association of Malawi executive director George Khaki said the prevailing harsh economic environment makes the job market fragile.

Workers sorting groundnuts in a factory

He said: “The outlook by monetary authorities is that the economic slowdown globally will continue this year among other things due to inflation.

“Thus, the job market will continue to underperform. Many of the jobs lost will be in the formal sector thus the informal sector will become large.”

Khaki said rising inflation, shortage of foreign exchange and lack of reliable and adequate power are

 some of the reasons industry is unable to create as many jobs as envisaged after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Institute for People Management in Malawi president Godwin Ng’oma is on record as having said unless the economic environment improves and the country establishes new industries to employ the people, securing decent jobs will remain a challenge.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Labour has also forecast slow growth of about 0.6 percent in the creation of new jobs between this year and 2024.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour has also forecast slow growth of about 0.6 percent in the creation of new jobs between this year and 2024.

Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule admitted that government is bothered with the unemployment challenges while hoping that the strategies to boost the manufacturing sector would materialise.

“The Malawi 2063 is already talking about commercialising our agriculture and urbanising our country and that’s where we need to go.

“To achieve this, we are focusing on value addition to our produce such as tomatoes which go bad within a week,” she said.

Ministry of Labour figures forecast that 217 560 jobs will be created by the end of this fiscal year in March, a 35 percent jump from the 161 717 created in 2021.

The ILO report indicates that global unemployment is projected to stand at 208 million in 2023 this year.

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