The total number of employed women in Zambia is still lagging behind men by over 623,000, according to the latest Labour Force Survey.

Data contained in the 2017 Labour Force Survey shows that the total number of females in the labour force in Zambia constitute 1,356,988 or 39.9 per cent of the country’s total labour force compared to males at 2,041,306 or 60.1 per cent.

Out of 1,356,988 females in the labour force, only 1,173,213 are employed, representing around 39.5 per cent of the total number of employed workers, compared to 1,797,957 out of 2,041,306 of employed men, representing 60.5 per cent.

This means that the difference of employed men compared to women in the country’s workforce is 623,957, or 21 per cent, between the two genders.

The numbers of employed persons in the formal sector also favours male workers, as data shows that 893,843 are men compared to just 463,343 women in the sector out of a total of 1,173,213 employed.

In the informal sector, male workers comprise of 565,579 out of the total 1,797,957 employed compared to only 356,897 female employees in the same sector.

On the rural-urban divide, the number of employed persons in rural areas stands at 1,192,712 or 40.1 per cent compared to the urban employed who number 1,778,458 or 59.9 per cent of the total number of employed persons.

Data from the Survey further reveals that employed persons in the formal sector actually outnumber the informal sector by nearly 15 per cent.

“The employed population was estimated at 2,971,170. Out of these, formal sector accounted for 45.7 per cent (1,357,186 persons), while the informal sector accounted for 31.0 per cent (922,476 persons). The household sector accounted for 23.3 per cent (691,508 persons),” the Survey stated.

And according to employment by industry category, retail accounted for the highest percentage of employed, while the lowest percentage are toiling in the arts and entertainment industry.

“The wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles industries accounted for the highest percentage share of the employed population at 26.9 per cent, while agriculture, forestry and fishing industry accounted for the second highest share of employed population at 25.9 per cent. The lowest percentage share of employed population was observed in both arts, entertainment, recreation, and activities of extraterritorial organizations and bodies industries at 0.1 per cent each,” revealed the Survey.

“It is worth noting that more males dominated the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries (470,303), while more females were in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles industries (427,175).”