Population and Demography

Economic Activity - A Driving Force To Development

  • Author: Lamin L. Dibba, Principal Statistician
  • Published: September 27, 2017 1:36 pm

The number of people that a country has that are engaged in some form of economic activity defines how much labour is available to produce income. There are various activities that someone can engage in such that his or her economic situation changes, therefore providing the springboard to bounce towards moving out of poverty. The supply of labour is usually measured over people regarded to be in the labour force, usually between the ages of 15 and 64 years. This age bracket is what is internationally defined as the working age and on which the supply of labour for driving the economy of country heavily depends on. However, not all those who fall within the age bracket would necessarily supply labour. In effect not everyone in this group is regarded as ACTIVE as there would be those who, by virtue of their economic situation, are defined as inactive; implying that that they are not expected to contribute to the labour force.

The results of the Integrated Household Survey (IHS) 2015/16 have shown that 64.0 percent of the people in the labour force are actually active and therefore should be in the position of supplying labour in various forms. The results further showed that 97.8 percent of these people were employed, thus leaving the unemployment rate at only 2.2 percent. At the Local Government Area (LGA) levels, Banjul and Kanifing have the highest unemployment rates with 4.2 percent.

However, these figures should be interpreted with great caution due to the fact that most of the data was collected during the farming season and the questions asked about employment were asked over a seven-day period. Additionally, agriculture has been identified as the industry with the largest share of employment. This can be explained further by the very low proportions of inactive population in all the predominantly rural LGAs.

 

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