03 December 2021

Trends of Labour market performance indicator in Rwanda -August 2021

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and containment responses have exposed existing Rwandan society and its economy to the change in all aspects; people are also wearied of losing employment or tending to under-utilization

In August 2021 (Q3), the working age population (16 years and above) was around 7.75 million of whom 3,179,124 were employed, 764,480 were unemployed and 3,806,301 were out of labour force. The sum of employed and unemployed population results to population in labour force (3,943,604 persons). The proportion of working age population who were in the labour force declined to 50.9 percent in August 2021(Q3) from 53.3 percent in May 2021(Q2). The proportion of the working age population outside the labour force increased to 49.1 percent in August 2021(Q3) as compared to May 2021(Q1) (46.7 percent) and August 2020(Q3) (41.8 percent).

The employment-to-population ratio remained almost unchanged in August 2021 (Q3) (41.0 percent) as compared to May 2021 (40.8 percent), and became relatively lower than the one registered one year back in August 2020(48.9 percent). Because of a high decrease in employment and a slight increase in unemployment compared to August 2020, the labour force participation rate decreased at relatively the same pace than the employment to population ratio. It decreased from 58.2 percent in in August 2020 to 50.9 percent in August 2021(Q3).

Generally, the number of employed population has declined since August 2020. A comparison of the current Quarter (Augut 2021(Q3)) with the same quarter one year back (August 2020(Q3)) shows that the total employment declined by around 13.3 percent from 3.7 million to 3.2 million of employed population. A comparison with the previous quarter shows that total employment slightly increased by 1.6 percent.

 The industry sector gained round 127 thousands additional jobs while agriculture and Services sectors lost around 47 thousands and 31 thousands of jobs respectively, as compared to the previous quarter. Economic activities that recorded high job gain were mainly construction (91 thousands), Whole sale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles (86 thousands), manufacturing (28 thousands), and other services (25 thousands).

The unemployment rate in August 2021 (Q3)  declined to 19.4 percent as compared to 23.5 percent in May 2021(Q2) which is equivalent to a decrease of 4.1 percentage points. The unemployment rate remained relatively higher among females (22.2 percent) as compared to males (17.2 percent). The unemployment rate is relatively higher among youth population aged 16 years to 30 years (25.5 percent) as compared to the unemployment rate among adults aged 31 years and above (14.9 percent).

Labour underutilization rate which accounts for unemployment, time-related underemployment and potential labour force was estimated to 60.0 percent in August 2021(Q3). It relatively remained stable as compared to May 2021( 59.8 percent) while it  remained relatively higher than the one registered in August 2020(  56.3 percent). The labour underutilization rate was remarkably higher among females (66.9 percent) as compared to males (53.1 percent).