More than half of Zim workers earn US$51 – Government stats agency reveals

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By Crecey Kuyedzwa I

HARARE: Sixty-two percent of employed people in Zimbabwe were earning approximately Z$20 000 in April 2022, the latest figures released on Monday by Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) show.

According to Zimstat’s second quarter labour force survey, 62% of employed people in the southern African country earned Z$20 000, which equates to US$51 using the parallel market exchange rate of $390 per greenback and US$125.51 using the end of April 2022 official exchange rate of Z$159.34 per US dollar.

Zimstat’s definition of employed people includes subsistence farmers and those in the informal sector, such as vendors.

“Among the paid employees, 27% earned income of less than Z$20 000 again during the month of April 2022,” said Zimstat.

This comes as Zimbabwe was experiencing high inflation levels of 96.4% in April 2022.


While Zimstat said 3.3 million of the 9 million working-age population were currently employed,  88% of the employed population were informally employed.

“Among those employed in the non-agriculture sectors, 85 percent were informally employed,” said Zimstat.

The Agency also revealed that 48.8% or 1 367 291 of youth between 15-24 were just “roaming around the streets”. These are youths that are unemployed and not receiving an education or vocational training.

The age group (15-19) years had the highest expanded unemployment rate of 73%. Youths (15-24) years had a national expanded unemployment rate of 67% while the national expanded unemployment rate for youths (15-34) years was 58%.

Zimstat defines an expanded unemployment rate as the combined rate of unemployment and potential labour force (PLF), where potential labour force consists of working-age persons who during the reference period; were without paid work.

Using his Twitter handle to comment on the youth unemployment idle youth, Dr Alfred Mthimkhulu said the much talked about Africa demographic dividend is “nonsense”.


“Someone told us in Africa we have some demographic dividend in the future. Sad how that gained such acceptance throughout Africa. It’s nonsense! Giving Africa an illusion of looming prosperity without basis for it.”