18 May 2022

Unemployment in Rwanda has declined by 7 percentage points

After the hard time of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are putting much pression to the labour market to resume their lives that was much affected by the pandemic. Despite their efforts, Labour under utilizations remains higher. The new standards introduced an innovative framework that recognizes all productive activities, whether paid or unpaid, as work and serve to expand the range of statistics available on different working activities, paid and unpaid, carried out by women and men, including employment, volunteer work, own-use production work, etc. and provide information needed to inform policies in achieving inclusive development and decent work.

In February 2022 (Q1), the unemployment rate declined to 16.5 percent as compared to 23.8 percent recorded in November 2021 (Q4) which is equivalent to a decline of 7.3 percentage points. The unemployment rate remained relatively higher among females (18.2 percent) as compared to males (15.0 percent). It is also relatively higher among youth population aged 16 years to 30 years (21.5 percent) as compared to the one among adults aged 31 years and above (13.1 percent).

Te employment-to-population ratio relatively slightly declined to 45.5 percent in February 2022 (Q1) as compared to 46.5 percent in November 2021 (Q4) and became higher than the one registered one year back in February 2021 (Q1) (42.0 percent). Labour force participation has declined in February 2022 (Q1) because of the increase in population outside Labour force. It has declined by 6.5 percentage points, from 61.0 percent in November 2021 (Q4) to 54.5 percent in February 2022(Q1).

The results also showed that the labour force participation rate significantly decreased by around 6.5 percentage points from 61.0 percent in November 2021 to 54.5 percent in February 2022. The decline in labour force participation has impacted population outside labour force and other component of Labour underutilization.

Labour underutilization rate which accounts for unemployment, time-related underemployment and potential labour force declined to 52.8 percent in February 2022(Q1) from 56.8 percent in November 2021(Q4). It has also declined as compared to 59.0 percent in February 2021 (the figure observed one year back). The labour underutilization rate was remarkably higher among females (58.8 percent) as compared to males (46.7 percent).

These results provide evidence of the positive performance of the labour market of Rwanda during the last four years as well as the strength of the labour force survey as measurement instrument, even though the pace was hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic and other economic factors related to the performance of the Rwandan Economy.



Labour statistical Research Team Leader