Of the 3.7 million workers in rural areas 86 percent work in agriculture, forestry and fishing as their main jobs but 60 percent of them are poor
There has been a decline in economic activity rates since 2001, with relatively low unemployment according a Labour Market and Economic Activity, survey, carried out by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).
The 2005/06 survey says that 1.2 percent of the adult population is unemployed.
This is 0.2 percent higher than the corresponding figure in 2000/01 when the study was last made.
“The change in economic activity rates is not a result of growing unemployment, but a result of people staying in education or training,” the study reads in part.
It adds that unemployment is low in both the 2000/01 and 2005/6 surveys, but has risen fractionally over the years. However experts say that these statistics could have been surpassed by current events and that unemployment levels could be higher than what is quoted.
Yussuf Murangwa, Director of Economic Statistics at the NISR admitted the fact that the events have changed but he said the difference is not big.
“For policy reasons, that is how it is done. But the variation is not large,” said Murangwa, who is also one of the authors.
The study which is carried out every after five years also indicates that unemployment was higher in urban area compared to rural areas where some 3.7 million are employed.
Of the 3.7 million workers in rural areas 86 percent work in agriculture, forestry and fishing as their main jobs but 60 percent of them are poor.
Trade is said to be the second most employing industry at seven percent overall, but accounts for 23 percent of workers in Kigali while those working in the financial services sector are the wealthiest.
Gender and economic activity
The study says that the working population aged above 15 is estimated to be 4.38 million people, of which just less than two million are male and 2.4 million female, meaning females are the majority of the workforce.
In urban areas the distribution by gender is said to be equal, but in rural areas 60 percent of the working adult population is female.