The unemployment rate in Seychelles has dropped from 5% to 3.5%, largely thanks to the reintroduction of the unemployment relief scheme in 2017, officials said.
“The aid program has played a major role in creating jobs. We conducted a door-to-door exercise to disseminate information, which was very effective in encouraging people to find a job, “said Employment Department technical advisor Susan Morel, speaking at a conference. press conference Wednesday.
Since its reintroduction until the last quarter of 2018, approximately 1,900 people have been able to find a job through this program.
This unemployment assistance scheme, which dates back to 1995, has been reintroduced for unemployed Seychellois aged 18 and over and dependent on social assistance.
Through the program, these people were able to earn the $ 408 minimum wage. Those benefiting from this program were offered a job and received training. The plan was designed to improve employment statistics and reduce dependence on the social protection system.
The quarterly figures are based on data collected at the end of 2018 as part of a national survey of a sample of 1,200 households divided into subsamples of 400 households. Interviews for the survey were conducted monthly on all the main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
The survey showed a disparity between unemployed men and women. The highest unemployment rate was recorded among the male population, equivalent to 4.2% compared to that of the female population, equivalent to 2.9%.
Despite the positive sign that the unemployment rate has fallen , the country still relies heavily on foreign labor to fill market gaps.
“A look at the statistics shows that the number of foreign workers will continue to increase due to the lack of manpower in the country in certain sectors such as construction and tourism. It will stay that way as long as we do not prepare for the jobs held by foreigners, “Morel said.
The technical advisor added that despite this, the country needed to revise its recruitment policy to control the influx of foreign labor. According to the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics, 22,000 expatriate workers currently contribute to the country’s economy.
The principal statistician of the office, Maria Payet, explained that “the active population of Seychelles comprises 49.3% of men and 50.7% of women. It includes all those who participate in the labor market, whether they are employed or unemployed. “
“A gender disparity is also observed in the subgroup of young people (aged 15 to 24), where 55.5% of the youth labor force is male and 44.5% female.” added Mrs. Payet.
The gender disparities revealed by the distribution of occupations are also interesting, as the survey reveals. While men dominate the category of “managers”, the category of “professionals” is dominated by women.
The situation of youth unemployment vis-A�-vis the national unemployment in Seychelles for the last quarter of last year belongs to the “severe” category, said Ms. Morel, adding that “this is due to lack of experience young people because they have just finished their studies. “
Speaking of the informal sector, Ms. Morel said that at least 16% of the employed population turned to this sector, but that there was a disadvantage because they often work in poor conditions.
For Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the Western Indian Ocean, the informal sector is a business or establishment (private sector) that is not legally registered with the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) or obtained a license from the Seychelles Licensing Authority. .
Source: Seychelles News Agency