21 March 2022

Rwanda Labour market- Trends of main indicators, 2017-2021(Q4)

Note: UR: Unemployment rate; LFPR: Labour Force Participation rate; EPR: Employment to Population ratio.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its containment measures have exposed existing Rwandan society and its economy to the change in all aspects. Despite the risk of mortality, people are also wearied by losing employment or tending to under-utilization.

In November 2021 (Q1), the unemployment rate increased to 23.8 percent from 19.4 percent estimated in the previous quarter (Aug 2021). In comparison with the situation one year earlier (November 2020 (Q4); the current unemployment rate increased by around 3.5 percentage points.  The unemployment rate remained relatively higher among females (27.3 percent) as compared to males (20.7 percent). It is also relatively higher among youth population aged 16 years to 30 years (29.8 percent) as compared to the one among adults aged 31 years and above (19.3 percent).

The employment-to-population ratio (EPR), i.e., the percentage of the working age population who is employed, is an indicator of the performance of the national economy in providing employment to its growing population. The analysis of employment trends shows that in November 2021, the estimated number of employed population were 3,633,132 persons while it was 3,179,124 persons in August 2021, indicating an increase of 14.3 percentage points.

The employment-to-population ratio increased to 46.5 percent in November 2021(Q4) as compared to 41.0 percent registered in August 2021(Q3). The employment to population ratio in November 2021(Q4) was slightly higher than the one registered one year earlier November 2020 (Q4) (45.1 percent).

The results also showed that the labour force participation rate has significantly increased by around 10 percentage points from 50.9 percent in August 2021(Q3) to 61.0 percent in November 2021(Q4). The increase in labour force participation has impacted both employment and unemployment in this quarter as the new entrants in the labour force spread in either of these categories.

Labour underutilization rate which accounts for unemployment, time-related underemployment and potential labour force has slightly declined to 56.8 percent in November 2021(Q4) from 60.0 percent in August 2021(Q3). It has slightly decreased as compared to November 2020 (59.8 percent). The results of the fourth quarter 2021 revealed also that the labour underutilization rate was remarkably higher among female population (63.6 percent) as compared to male population (49.8 percent).


By: Tuyisenge Methode

Research Statistician, Labour Statistics