More and Better Jobs: Flagship Project Final Report
Zambia’s employment challenge is about both a lack of jobs and a poor quality of jobs. Recent statistics from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) show that the (standard) unemployment rate, at 12.6% of the labour force in 2017 compared to 7.9% in 2012 and 7.4% in 2014, is worsening. Moreover, overall 69.8% of employed persons are informal employed, with their jobs characterized by low pay, lack of social security, limited mechanisms that ensure respect for workers’ rights, and low influence or negotiating space on salaries or conditions of service. This dual challenge has existed for a while. It implies that Zambia should raise job numbers and simultaneously enhance the quality and sustainability of jobs. Achieving both of these objectives will require innovative policies that are based on evidence. Having observed this dual challenge, ZIPAR launched the More and Better Jobs Flagship Project in 2015 as an initiative that sought to generate relevant, evidence-based policy options for informing the Government and other stakeholders on how to support the creation of more and better jobs. The project aimed to make a modest contribution towards realizing the job aspirations of the Zambian society. This report synthesizes and presents the findings of various pieces of analyses that were undertaken under this project.