Unemployment rate in West Africa in 2020

February 25, 2021 | by: David Kodjani

Suppression of jobs, reduction of working hours, increase in unemployment, underemployment and inactivity; the situation will have been very difficult for the job market in 2020. A deterioration which is in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic Covid 19 to reach a serious blow to the labor market in 2020. As a result, the unemployed population has grown 322 thousand people in a year, amounting to 1 million 429 thousand persons with an increase of 29%. As a result of the races, the unemployment rate rose to 11.9% in 2020, against 9.2% a year earlier (5.9% in rural areas and 15.8% in urban areas), according to the latest figures published by the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) on the labor market situation. This unemployment rate is higher among graduates (18.5%) and young people aged 15 to 24 (31.2%).

It should be noted that even those who have a job do not all work full time. Indeed, notes the HCP, the employed population in a situation of underemployment reached 1,127,000 people, which jumped the underemployment rate from 9.2 to 10.7% from year to year. the other. Note that underemployment is made up of 2 components, the first linked to the number of hours worked, the second to insufficient income or to the mismatch between training and the job performed. In 2020, the average number of hours worked per week fell from 45.2 to 37.5. The regional economy lost 432,000 jobs in 2020, under the combined effect of the drought and the Covid-19 pandemic. This has resulted in increased unemployment. This rate is higher among graduates (18.5%) and young people aged 15 to 24 (31.2%).

On the side of the National Institute of Statistics, in the fourth quarter of 2020, the number of workers stood at 3433.4 thousand against an average of 3511.6 thousand in the third quarter of 2020, a decrease of 78.3 thousand. This population is divided into 2524.9 thousand men and 908.4 thousand women. The distribution of workers by sector of activity is as follows: 52.8% in the service sector, 17.9% in the manufacturing sector, 16.0% in the non-manufacturing sector and 13.3% in the manufacturing sector. agriculture and fisheries. The estimated number of unemployed for the fourth quarter of 2020 is 725.1 thousand of the total working population. The unemployment rate stood at 17.4%, compared to 16.2% in the previous quarter.

In terms of ranking of countries in the sub region Niger comes first with 0.3% followed by Togo 1.7%. Benin and Liberia both occupy third place with 2%, the Ivory Coast at 2.4% and took fourth place. With 4.1% Guinea-Bissau comes in fifth position followed by Guinea and Sierra Leone 4.3%. These are followed by Burkina Faso 6.1%, Ghana 6.8%, The Gambia 8.9%, Mali 9.8%, Mauritania at 10.32%, Cape Verde 11.29% and Senegal 17%. Nigeria brings up the rear with 27.1%.

In view of all these figures, it can be said unequivocally that the labor market on the continent has fallen considerably. Nobody anticipated the pandemic, of course, but we can make sure to pull out of the game and get our heads above water in this ocean of unemployment. This involves updating your skills on a daily basis (online training, reading, etc.) in order to be essential in your field and essential for your employer.

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