Survey reveals 7000 unemployed

Close to 7000 people in Samoa do not have formal employment, according to the 2017 Samoa Labour Force Survey.

The survey was done by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour. 

The report with the findings was signed by Samoa Bureau of Statistics (S.B.S.) Chief Executive Officer, Ali’imuamua Malaefono Taua-T. Faasalaina, and released recently.

Data collated in the 79-page report states that the majority of the unemployed 6960 people are females, which constitutes 53.1 per cent of the sampled population—this implies more females are looking for jobs than males.  

The report outlines a comparison of findings in 2012 and 2017. 

The working population in 2012 was 117,487 but this dropped to 110,993. In terms of unemployment in 2012, it was 3300 but this jumped to 6961 in 2017, according to the report. 

Ali’imuamua said the report gives insights into labour market statistics, such as employment and labour relations situation in Samoa and S.B.S. is hopeful the policy makers, planners and administrators will find the report useful in assisting them to develop, manage and evaluate labour market policies and programmes.

As estimated by the survey, the labour force stood at 48,100 persons where 64.0 per cent were males and 36.0 per cent were females. 

“The majority of the labour force was found in the 20-24-year-old age group representing 15.8 per cent of the total labour force, as this is the age where adults are starting to enter the labour force looking for employment. 

“Conversely, the lowest was found in the 65+ year age group with only 2.7 per cent as adults are starting to exit the labour force in preparation for retirement.

“Unemployment refers to those of the working age population who were not in employment, carried out activities to seek employment or to start a business during the ‘last month or four weeks’ prior to the actual date of the interview and were currently available to take up employment or to start a business given a business opportunity ‘in the past seven days’ or ‘within the next two weeks’. 

“This definition of strict unemployment stipulated by the I.L.O. will be used throughout this report hence, readers are advised accordingly. 

“Unemployed population is about 6,960 persons were unemployed, where the majority were females constituting 53.1 percent implying that females tend to seek employment more than males.” 

The report says the majority of the unemployed are found in the rural area representing almost 82 per cent of total unemployment.

“Most of the unemployed are in the age groups of 20-24 and 25-29 years, as these are the critical age groups where people will start to enter the labour force looking for employment or even to start a business. 

“Both urban and rural areas follow this same trend. On the other hand, unemployment starts to decrease in the older population either due to retirement or to engage in subsistence production or perhaps to become ‘economically inactive’. 

“As further reported by the survey, almost half of total unemployment (44.7 per cent) are made up of youth.” The report says that unemployment rate declines gradually as the population gets older.

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