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Salaries decrease as employment goes up

Publishing Date : 21 January, 2019

Author : TSAONE SEGAETSHO

Latest Statistics Botswana’s Formal Sector Employment Survey shows that even though the cost of living is not getting easier in Botswana the employee earnings are stubbornly betrayal as they are decreasing -the latest fall being a decrease of 1.3 percent, from P6, 430 in June 2018 to P6, 347 in September 2018.


When looking at wages or earnings especially the estimated monthly average cash earning for employees in formal sector, the monthly average earnings was P6, 038 for citizens, P18, 265 for non-citizen and P6, 347 for all employees as at end of September 2018. According to the statistics, there was a decrease of 1.3 percent in monthly average earnings for all employees from June 2018 (P6, 430) to September 2018 (P6, 347).


Estimated Monthly Average Cash Earnings by Economic Activity, Citizenship and Sex, September 2018 and June 2018 shows that some sectors decreases in employment. The total estimated monthly average cash earnings by economic activity in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector went from P 4,155 P4, 392, a 5,4 percent decrease. Another huge decrease, by 5, 2 percent, was recorded in the manufacturing sector from 5, 384 in June 2018 to 5,677 in September 2018.  There was also a notable decrease in the health sector from P10,219 to P9,781 in September 2018.


Even though teachers or education sector unions have been vocal and advocating for increase of salaries for years, saying teachers are the most demotivated in Botswana, the recently released survey shows earnings in the education sector has however decreased albeit slightly. In the education sector, the earnings decreased from P9,720 to P9,589 which is a fall by 1,4 percent.


Even though mining is the mainstay of Botswana economy and many think salaries are always going up in the mining and quarrying sector, this contradicts the Formal Sector Employment Survey which states that earnings in that sector decreased by 1.1 percent between June and September last year. The hotel & restaurants, construction and the transport & communication sectors recorded an increase estimated monthly average cash earnings by sector between June and September last year; for 9.0, 6.1 and 5.6 percent respectively.


Minimum hourly wage rates


 According to Statistics Botswana the minimum hourly wage rates in Thebe per hour from April 2009 to November 2017 shows that the minimum hourly rate in all sectors increased by 52 percent between 2009 and 2017 from 380 thebe to 579 thebe respectively. According to the employment survey, the minimum hourly wage rates have been increasing over the above mentioned years except for 2009 to 2011, where the rates remained the same for three years.


Overall employment


According to Acting Statistician General Malebogo Kerekang, formal sector employment increased by 1.0 percent between June 2018 and September 2018 with Local Government recording the highest increase of 1.8 percent, followed by Central Government and Parastatals with 1.4 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. According to Kerekang, the Ipelegeng Programme prompted the increase in Local Government employment. Despite Ipelegeng always being on the receiving end of politicians, labour activists and economists for being misguided and coming with short term economic effects, it recorded an increase of 2.5 percent helping Local Government get the highest increase of 1.8 percent.


“On the other hand, Agriculture sector had recorded an increase in employment of 1.2 percent between the two quarters, followed by Real Estate and Hotels & Restaurants with 1.0 percent and 0.9 percent respectively. Employee earnings decreased from P6,430 in June 2018 to P6,347 in September 2018, which is a decrease of 1.3 percent,” said Kerekang.


The employment survey shows that the overall employment increased by 1.0 percent (3,976 persons) from 413,186 persons in June 2018 to 417,162 persons in September 2018. All in all Local Government recorded the highest growth of 1.8 percent in employment, followed by Central Government and Parastatals with 1.4 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.


According to the Statistics Botswana report the Private Sector recorded an increase in employment of 0.3 percent. In September 2018, a total of 10,554 (2.5 percent) employees were non-citizens. Out of this total, Private and Parastatal sectors recorded 9,592 employees, says the survey. The recently released Formal Sector Employment Survey manufacturing industry was the major employer of noncitizens (19.3 percent), followed by Construction and Education industries with 18.3 percent and 17.6 percent respectively.

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