Lockdowns push unemployment up, data from Statistics Agency shows
The state of emergency period which saw the country go under lockdown gave rise to unemployment, data released by the Namibian Statistics Agency indicates.
The statistics agency’s second survey on the effects of COVID-19 on businesses shows that a significant amount of businesses (30.2%) reported to have laid off workers during the state of emergency period, indicating rising unemployment during the prevailing pandemic period.
The survey further revealed that 20% of the businesses cited to have temporarily closed a slight decline from 25.2% of businesses that were temporarily closed during the first round of the survey. This while only 1% of the businesses cited that they were permanently closed compared to 3.5% during the first round of the survey.
Statistician-General Alex Shimuafeni said although government introduced some relief packages in order to mitigate the impact of corona virus on business, the only 23.7% of the businesses managed to obtain such relief packages during this period.
The survey shows that 87.8% of businesses are adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic compared to the 96.5% that was reported in the first round of the survey report that was released in the May 2020. Thus, reflecting the opening up of the economy following the lock-down period that was covered in the first round of the survey.
“The survey indicated that almost half of the businesses (48%) continued to trade partially as compared to 50% that operated partially during the first round of the survey,” Shimuafeni said. “This was followed by 31% of businesses that indicated they continued to trade at full capacity, an increase when compared to 21.2% of businesses that cited to be operating at full capacity during the first round of the survey.”
A sample list of 619 formal businesses across 16 sectors of the economy was used for this round of survey with an overall response rate 58.5%.