Zambians Optimistic About The Future.
MOST Zambians are optimistic that the worst impact of the current economic slowdown is over and the country will soon get back on track, a latest Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research ( ZIPAR) has revealed.` According to the report titled ‘ In the eye of the storm – the impact of the economic slowdown on the labour market in Zambia’ over the last year, 9.3 percent of Zambians said they lost a job and were unable to find a new one, while a third of businesses surveyed reported laying off staff in the last year.
It stated that most Zambians think that improving job opportunities should be the top priority on how the government should improve the economy.
The report also revealed that the hardest hit is young people.
“ Of those who reported having lost a job and not found another in the last 12 months, 13.4 percent are under- 25 years compared to 6.4 percent aged 41- 55 years.” “ More positively, there was evidence that the worst may be over. Some businesses appear to have made difficult decisions about their workforce in 2015 [ laying off of workers and imposing recruitment freezes], and now feel better placed to withstand economic challenges,” it stated.
The eye in the storm survey was conducted countrywide last April and is part of the ZIPAR flagship project on more and better jobs, and was officially launched last week.
In an interview, ZIPAR acting executive director Shebo Nalishebo said the research provides an authoritative assessment of the recent economic challenges on jobs in Zambia.
“ It is vital to have information like this to help inform government policy thinking on how best to respond to the slowdown and do even more to help improve the job opportunities,” he said.
Asked if the optimism by people is correct, Mr Nalishebo said Zambians are generally optimistic people who think the economy will turn around.
“ I don’t think this optimism is misplaced, maybe it is because the country has gone through difficult times before, so it is like a storm that will end soon,” he said.