Rwanda’s unemployment raise up to 22.1% in May: survey

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The unemployment rate in Rwanda increased from 13.1 percent in February to 22.1percent in May 2020, said a new national survey released here on Wednesday.

In May 2020, the unemployment rate was estimated at 22.1 percent as the result of the rise of population in unemployment to 905,198 from 536,714 corresponding to 13.1 percent unemployment rate in February 2020, said the survey by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).

In May 2020, the unemployment rate was higher among women at 25.0 percent than among men at 19.6 percent and higher among young people 16-30 year at 27.2 percent than among adults 31 years and above, 17.7 percent, the survey showed.

The unemployment was also higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas 22.3 and 21.0 percent respectively, it said.

Employment in eight most important economic activities in terms of employed persons was differently affected by COVID-19.

In February 2020, eight economic activities were employing 86 percent of the total employment in Rwanda, according to NISR.

The most affected among them is accommodation and food services activities which lost 75 percent of employment in April and which still had a gap of 57 percent in May 2020, as compared to February 2020 situation, the survey said.

 Transportation and storage was the second most affected in April with the loss of 65 percent and 23 percent respectively in April and May 2020, compared to February 2020, it said.

In April, the employment in manufacturing decreased by 59 percent while construction sector lost about 49 percent of employment during the same month, said the survey.

Similarly, whole sale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicle and motor cycle had a loss of 42 percent in April and subsequently a gain of 3 percent in May as compared to February 2020.

In the remaining economic activities the employment in April and May decreased compared to the employment level observed in February 2020, the survey further said.

In Agriculture sector, there was a decrease of 36 percent in April and 13 percent in May.

According to the survey, the consideration of employment under the three broad branches of the economic activity revealed that the industry sector increased by 5.3 percent in terms of employment while services and market oriented agriculture sectors decreased by 14.2 percent and 12.9 percent respectively, in May 2020 as compared to February 2020.

In total 3,484 households were contacted for interview and 3,401 of them, representing 97.6 percent responded to the questions of survey interview.

Rwanda eased COVID-19 lockdown on May 4 with partial reopening of private and public businesses with essential staff. The lockdown had first initially been imposed on March 2

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