The government said on Tuesday it has created more jobs than have been lost since taking over nearly three years ago.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa told a post Cabinet media briefing that over 450 000 new jobs had been created in formal and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) since late 2017.
“Jobs, jobs, jobs” was one of the promises President Emmerson Mnangagwa made on taking over from the late Robert Mugabe.
“Despite the plethora of challenges that were faced, which include, among others, foreign currency shortages, currency instability as well as natural calamities, such as droughts, cyclones and Covid-19, the formal employment figures increased from 1 083 823 in 2017 to 1 296 396 as of August, 2020 according to data from the National Social Security Authority,” Mutsvangwa said.
Most of the formal jobs had been created in the agriculture, construction and energy sectors.
“Overall, the economy added 20 percent new jobs during the period under review.”
She said at least 235 635 jobs had been created in the SMEs sector, which is dubbed the country’s engine for economic growth.
Mutsvangwa said 86 new investments and new employers were registered between 2018 and 2019.
“Forty of the businesses were in the commerce sector and 34 in fabricated metal products/machinery,” she said.
In terms of retrenchments, Mutsvangwa said the number of people losing jobs had gradually been going down since 2017 with 1 668 having been laid off in 2018, 1 461 in 2019 and 638 as at the end of June this year.
She said government was since 2017 implementing two projects in conjunction with the ILO aimed at empowering women and youths.