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labour day report

Numbers Speak: Who Works More Than Others In Rwanda?


The official minimum working age in Rwanda is 16 and above. Females working-age population is 54%, and 74% were economically active, according to the Census of 2012.

The economic activity rate is higher in rural areas with 75% compared to urban areas with 68% and higher among males (76%) compared to females (72%).

By the time of the census, there were 4,152,682 employed people, representing 71% of all residents aged 16 and above. Obviously this number has risen in thousands.

Unemployment in Rwanda is an urban phenomenon and affects young people (16-35 years) more than adults, the Census report says.

The unemployment rate in urban areas (7.7%) was more than twice higher than the national level (3.4%), whereas it was 2.6% in rural areas.

The unemployment rate among active youth (16–35) was 4.0% and 8.7% respectively at the national level and in urban areas, while it was 2.6% and 5.6% among adults (aged 36–65).

The breakdown of the unemployment rate by the highest level of education showed that young persons with secondary and university levels of education are most exposed to unemployment, as depressing as it might be.

However, since then, unemployment in urban areas has risen close to 10%, especially in Kigali City.

Meanwhile, the report also says that 13% of active persons with an upper secondary education level were unemployed and the unemployment rate was 10% for those who had attended university.

The level of education of the labour force is still low. 26% of the employed Rwandans have never attended school and 61% have attended only primary school.

And 47% of the unemployed population has been to primary school.

The Rwandan labour market is predominated by agriculture (73%).

In rural areas, 83% are farmers compared to 21% in urban areas. However, the report says too, that 82% of working women are food makers, employed in agriculture compared to males; 63%.

In Rwanda, non-agricultural occupations in urban areas are mainly services and sales workers and craft and related trades workers. Except for agricultural and clerical support workers, men predominated in all other occupations.

Majority of Rwandans are self-employed, largely in the agriculture sector 60%, followed by employees 18% while self-employed out of agriculture represent 8% of the total employed population.

Yet, over 90% of Rwandans are employed by the private sector and the public sector employed 4%. Non-profit organisations employ only 0.5% of the working population.

But so that you know, six out of ten employed persons in the public sector are males.




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