According to National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) report, 16.7% of Rwandans are unemployed.
The Director General of NISR, Yusuf Murangwa, attributed the rising number to the international definition of unemployment.
Prior to the new definition, general unemployment rate was at 4.5%, youth unemployment at 7.1% whereas, 68% were working in the agricultural sector, in the 2016 survey.
Murangwa said that “The new international standards recognize work and employment differently. For example, work for own use production, mainly subsistence agriculture is not considered employment but rather work. This excludes subsistence farmers from employment hence increasing the unemployment rate.”
The new definition, Murangwa says, involves “persons in employment are those aged sixteen and above who are engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services in exchange for pay or profit.”
Under the new definition and standards, the survey indicates that unemployment rates stand at16.7%, youth unemployment at 21%, 45.9% in the agricultural industry whereas 39.8% work in service industry. The new international standards include only those who produce agriculture good intended mainly for sale.
From a policy perspective, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete, said that the new definition provides an opportunity for proper assessment, thus allowing appropriate measures to promote productive and decent work.
The unemployment definition by the International Labour Organization encompasses “people who are out of work, want a job, have actively sought work in the previous four weeks and are available to start work within the next fortnight; or out of work and have accepted a job that they are waiting to start in the next fortnight.”