A total of 4 172 people lost jobs between January and September, confirming a worsening economic crisis that has seen several businesses shutting down, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said.
Last year, the country recorded 9 617 job losses and 75 company closures, according to figures availed by the ZCTU.
ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo said that the figures were conservative as some companies did not process their lay-offs through the Retrenchment Board, which provides the data.
“Figures from the Retrenchment Board reveal that 4 172 workers have lost their jobs as at September 2014. The numbers could be more as some unions don’t give us that information as frequently as we would want,” said Moyo.
He added that the frenzy of job cuts recorded at the start of the year had slowed down as many firms could not cut any further.
Moyo said most of the job cuts had been recorded in the security, engineering, clothing and textile, timber and allied industries, mining, packaging, motor industry and printing sectors.
Most firms cited the ongoing liquidity crunch as the main reason for laying off staff, he added.
Analysts say Zimbabwe’s worsening unemployment is due to lack of fresh investment coming into the economy to upgrade plants that can no longer produce competitively in the face of increased imports, mainly from South Africa and China.
The country’s official unemployment figures of around 11 percent, which the authorities say take into account a burgeoning informal economy, are widely scoffed at by independent economists who put the figure above 80 percent.
According to central bank statistics, Zimbabwe drew in $67 million in foreign direct investment in the first half of 2014, down from $165 million over the same period of 2013, a far cry from what its regional peers are attracting.
Critics blame President Robert Mugabe’s policies, such as his seizure of white-owned farms to resettle blacks, as well as his current push to localize control of all major companies, especially mines, for Zimbabwe’s poor showing in the FDI stakes.
The central bank says, on a cumulative basis between 1980 and 2013, Zimbabwe has received $1.7 billion in FDI flows, compared with $7.7 billion and $15.8 billion for Zambia and Mozambique, respectively.- The Source