Zimbabwe: Small Businesses And Employment Rate Face Decline Due To COVID-19



Jan. 28, 2021, 2:40 p.m.

A report released by the World Bank on Tuesday has revealed that small businesses and the employment rate in Zimbabwe is currently declining due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The results of this report was obtained through a telephone survey conducted by the World Bank in collaboration with the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency(ZIMSTAT) from1,747 households from the 6th to the 24th of July 2020.

According to the report, the survey tracked the social, economic and welfare impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on households.

It further states that at least 23% of urban residents who used to work for a wage or to obtain a household business income before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, were no longer doing so in July 2020 due to the negative effects of the pandemic. This figure is 19% in rural areas with the most common reason being attributed to business closure due to the lockdown.

The World Bank says there has been a considerable fall in household income since the start of the pandemic with ninety percent of households (about 33% in urban areas) operating a non-farm business reporting a drop in revenue.

Additionally, forty-four percent of wage workers (which form about 60% of urban workers) reported a reduction or disappearance of wages. This adds up to more than half of urban workers who have witnessed a drop in income. The problem affects urban areas in particular as the proportion of people working for a wage or operating a non-farm business is much higher than in rural areas.

Moreover, the report says the pandemic has had a considerable impact on the employment sector in Zimbabwe.

Roughly 64% of respondents reported having a job before the imposition of mobility restrictions; this was reduced to 51% in July 2020. Urban areas were most affected by job loss as 18% of respondents in urban areas were working before Covid-19 but no longer were in July 2020.

Again, the most commonly cited reason for the high unemployment rate was due to business closure due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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Dorcas Benewaa Author

Dorcas is an upcoming journalist. She loves the creative arts and loves to write about startups, digital arts and issues in the tech sector.