The Ministers of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Industry and Commerce, and Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development informed Cabinet on job creation trends in all sectors of the economy since the advent of the Second Republic. 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 (NSSA). Most of the jobs were created in the agriculture sector with a 41% growth rate, followed by construction (40%) and the energy sector (37%). Overall, the economy added 20% new jobs during the period under review.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are a major sector in terms of employment generation since the advent of the Second Republic. In the small and medium enterprises sector, a total of 235 635 jobs were created. The majority of the jobs (22%) were in agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, retail trade (21%), manufacturing (15%), mining (9%) and education (8%).
In terms of investments, 86 new investments and new employers were registered between 2018 and 2019. Forty (40) of the businesses were in the commerce sector and 34 in fabricated metal products/machinery. Regarding retrenchments, the statistics from the Retrenchment Board show a declining trend since the advent of the Second Republic. In 2017, 4 493 workers were laid off, whereas 1 668 lost their jobs in 2018 and 1 461 in 2019. By the end of June 2020, a total of 638 workers had been laid off.
The Government, with support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is implementing two major projects since 2017. These two are the Empowerment for Women and Youth Project (E4WAY) in Zimbabwe and the Green Enterprise Innovation and Development Project, which are meant to economically empower women and youths.