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Unemployment in Uganda

Unemployment refers to a situation where people in a working age group are available for paid employment or self-employment but there is no available work for them to do. The range of working age in Uganda is between 15-64years. Uganda’s national unemployment rate stood at 11.7 percent in October 2012. The rural unemployment rate was 1.7%. Urban unemployment rate for the youth stands at 12 percent and unemployment rate for youth was 32.2% in Kampala in 2010. Youth refers to people aged between 12 and 30 years.

Types of unemployment
Cyclical Unemployment
This results from fluctuations in economic activities in the country. For example employment opportunities are plenty in agriculture sector during preparation for planting and harvesting time.

Structural unemployment
This is unemployment caused by institutional structure of an economy or by economic restructuring making some skills obsolete.

Legal Framework
Employment relations in Uganda are primarily governed by the Employment Act of 2006.  The Employment Act provides that it shall be the duty of all parties including the Minister, labour officers and the industrial court to seek to promote equality of opportunity with a view to eliminating any discrimination in employment.

National Youth Policy
The National Youth Policy (2001) seeks to initiate, strengthen, streamline and mobilize resources for all programmes and services targeting the youth. The main strategy of the policy to promote capacity building, enterprise development and youth involvement. The policy targets to mobilize resources to promote youth participation in national development and create awareness on the youth concerns and needs.

Unemployment Deepens in Uganda
Uganda statistics from the labour department indicate that 390,000 students who finish tertiary education each year have only 8,000 jobs to fight for. This means that for every one job that is available they are about 50 people to fill it.

The labour force flow figures at the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicate  more than  400,000 Ugandans who enter the labour market each year, only about 113,000 are absorbed in formal employment, leaving the rest have to join the informal sector. The UBOS findings indicate that illiterates are more likely to be available for any work than the literates.

Uganda’s unemployment rate stands at 80 per cent and underemployment, which is mainly prevalent in rural areas at 17 per cent. Statistics from the Labour Department show that the current labour force is estimated at 9.8 million of which 53 per cent are females.

Causes of unemployment in Uganda
The unemployment in Uganda is mainly due to the following causes:

  • Theoretical methods of teaching are used by a number of learning institutions.
  • High levels of physical disability which has rendered it impossible for thousands to perform work and there are no adequate support facilities to enable the disabled perform work.
  • The graduates inability to create jobs is another source of unemployment
  • Influx of foreign workers brought by investors.
  • Lack of support for young entrepreneurs especially in the rural areas.
  • Lack of access to resources like land and capital for a number of youth.
  • Gender or other discrimination in areas of employment for example there are ladies who are taxi drivers or conductors.
  • lack of employable skills,
  • Lack of focus by the existing programs on the informal sector and agriculture.
  • Lack of apprenticeship schemes.
  • Negative attitudes by the youth towards work especially in agriculture and rural areas.
  • Lack of a comprehensive employment policy.
  • Rapid changes in technology
  • Inflation which makes expensive to pay a living salary

Source: https://africaoncable.com/youth-unemployment-in-uganda-ubos-youth-unemployment-rate-in-uganda/

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