By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus
For the past 15 months the economy has registered 12 364 new people seeking employment while 11 699 people were retrenched.
At the same time, the economy/employers created 3 772 employment opportunities and employed only 655 through the Namibia Integrated Employment Information System (NIEIS).
This is according to the labour ministry’s five quarterly reports (April 2020 to 30 June).
However, national documents still maintain that the country’s unemployment rate is still at the 2018 level of 33, 4%.
The labour ministry, through its Employment Services Bureau, requires that all vacancies should be registered to the Namibia Integrated Employment Information System (NIEIS) as required by the labour laws.
So the ministry has been requiring designated employers employing 25 people or more to report any new vacancies to the NIEIS.
While job seekers can also register with the NIEIS, and then the bureau does the matching making between the employers and job seekers.
The aggregated quarterly data from the first quarter (April- June) of 2020 for the ministry to the first quarter of 2021 shows that the ministry has registered 12 364 new job seekers in 15 months.
It also shows that the ministry registered more than 2 000 job seekers every quarter except for the last three months of 2020, where only 1 603 were registered.
In that same space, the ministry reported that the economy produced 3 772 vacancies from their registered designated employers.
Furthermore, in the last 15 months, the ministry reports indicated that it registered 441 designated employers who employ 25 people or more.
As a matchmaker, from the 3 772 vacancies registered with the NIEIS, the ministry referred 7 067 jobseekers for possible placement during the reviewed period.
According to the data available only 655 were employed from the 7 067 who were referred through NIEIS.
“Placement of job seekers depends on the availability of job opportunities in the industry,” the ministry team wrote.
The Villager’s analysis shows that there is such a huge mismatch as more job seekers are entering the pool. However, the vacancies made available are falling short of the demand.
Moreover, the pool has been widened by the numbers of the workers who were retrenched. In the past five years, about 571 people or more were retrenched every quarter.
The ministry has also indicated that employment officers have been visiting establishments to solicit employment for job seekers.
Economic expansion in terms of activities and diversification leads to more jobs being created as companies expand, hiring more capital (machines and humans) and as new companies emerge.
This highlighting the strong correlation between economic growth (not statistical growth) with more employment opportunities.
According to the central bank’s latest Economic Outlook, the domestic growth is expected to recover moderately during 2021, before accelerating in 2022, from a contraction in 2020.
Domestic growth is projected to increase to 1, 4% and 3, 4% in 2021 and 2022, respectively, from a contraction of 8% percent in 2020.
However, the disclaimer is that the 2021 expected growth is a statistical growth not entirely in terms of actual output growth.
“These improvements are mainly on account of base effects, better growth prospects in the mining industry, and recovery for some industries in the tertiary sector,” the bank said.
LABOUR MINISTRY UNHAPPY
The acting executive director, Lydia Indombo, in the ministry of labour has indicated that many qualified designated employers are not reporting nor registered with NIEIS as a result of breaking the Employment Services Act.
She said the act requires all designated employers in the country to employ through NIEIS and through other means like newspapers.
Indobo explained that recently the ministry has observed that designated employers are referring job seekers to the NIEIS for more information on the vacancy but applications are sent straight to employers.
She said the practice is disadvantageous to other job seekers.
At the same time, The Villager has also received complaints from job seekers who want to apply for the current posts at Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) but they are not registered with NIEIS.
As a result, they can’t apply until they register with NIEIS- while the NSA has told this paper that there is nothing they can do as the law requires them to recruit through the system.
Indombo calls on employers to fully comply with the act to centralise the system to assist both employers and job seekers. Email: email@example.com