Western Province has the highest unemployment in the country recorded at 67.4 per cent, according to Central Statistical Office data.

According to CSO data obtained from its 2017 Labour Force Survey (LFS), Western Province has the highest unemployment ratio in the country of 67.4 per cent.

This is against a total labour force of 6.9 per cent in that province, the third lowest in the country, ahead of Muchinga and North-Western provinces currently at 4.3 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.

“The 2017 LFS results shows that the unemployment rate was 41.2 per cent. Unemployment rate was higher among females at 48.8 per cent than among males at 34.8 per cent,” CSO stated in April’s monthly bulletin.

“Western Province recorded the largest unemployment rate of 67.4 per cent, followed by Luapula Province with 59.5 per cent. Lusaka Province recorded the smallest unemployment rate of 29.1 per cent.”

Further analysis shows that there are more unemployed Zambians in the urban areas compared to rural areas.

“Rural/urban analysis shows that urban areas had a higher unemployment rate of 50.8 per cent compared to 32.2 per cent in rural areas,” it stated.

On the other hand, CSO data indicated that the youth unemployment rate by the end of last year was recorded as 48.6 per cent.

“A youth is a person aged 15 to 35 years of age. In 2017, youth unemployment rate was recorded at 48.6 per cent. Urban areas recorded a higher youth unemployment rate than rural areas at 56.8 per cent and 40.9 per cent respectively,” stated CSO.

According to the 2017 LFS definition of unemployment, it is a condition in which a jobless person is seeking and available for paid work or business

The survey also found that over five million Zambians collectively constitute the total labour force in the country, with 2.75 million males and 2.28 million females.