Causes of unemployment in Uganda , effects of unemployment in Uganda

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Causes of unemployment in Uganda, What are some of the causes of unemployment in Uganda? Gender discrimination, which may result in girls struggling for jobs. Limited access to education. Skills mismatch. Geographical location of job seekers. Low levels of economic activity and low investment. Limited formal work experience. Lack of general and job-related skills.

Unemployment refers to a situation where people in a working age group are available for paid employment or self-employment but there is no available work for them to do. The range of working age in Uganda is between 15-years. Uganda’s national unemployment rate stood at 11.7 percent in October 2012. The rural unemployment rate was 1.7%. Urban unemployment rate for the youth stands at 12 percent and unemployment rate for youth was 32.2% in Kampala in 2010. Youth refers to people aged between 12 and 30 years.

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Types of unemployment in Uganda

Cyclical Unemployment

This results from fluctuations in economic activities in the country. For example employment opportunities are plenty in agriculture sector during preparation for planting and harvesting time.

Structural unemployment

This is unemployment caused by institutional structure of an economy or by economic restructuring making some skills obsolete.

Legal Framework

Employment relations in Uganda are primarily governed by the Employment Act of 2006.  The Employment Act provides that it shall be the duty of all parties including the Minister, labour officers and the industrial court to seek to promote equality of opportunity with a view to eliminating any discrimination in employment.

National Youth Policy

The National Youth Policy (2001) seeks to initiate, strengthen, streamline and mobilize resources for all programmes and services targeting the youth. The main strategy of the policy to promote capacity building, enterprise development and youth involvement. The policy targets to mobilize resources to promote youth participation in national development and create awareness on the youth concerns and needs.

Unemployment Deepens in Uganda

Uganda statistics from the labour department indicate that 390,000 students who finish tertiary education each year have only 8,000 jobs to fight for. This means that for every one job that is available they are about 50 people to fill it.

The labour force flow figures at the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicate  more than  400,000 Ugandans who enter the labour market each year, only about 113,000 are absorbed in formal employment, leaving the rest have to join the informal sector. The UBOS findings indicate that illiterates are more likely to be available for any work than the literates.

Uganda’s unemployment rate stands at 80 per cent and underemployment, which is mainly prevalent in rural areas at 17 per cent. Statistics from the Labour Department show that the current labour force is estimated at 9.8 million of which 53 per cent are females.

Causes of unemployment in Uganda

The unemployment in Uganda is mainly due to the following causes:

  • Theoretical methods of teaching are used by a number of learning institutions.
  • High levels of physical disability which has rendered it impossible for thousands to perform work and there are no adequate support facilities to enable the disabled perform work.
  • The graduates inability to create jobs is another source of unemployment
    Influx of foreign workers brought by investors.
  • Lack of support for young entrepreneurs especially in the rural areas.
  • Lack of access to resources like land and capital for a number of youth.
  • Gender or other discrimination in areas of employment for example there are ladies who are taxi drivers or conductors.
  • lack of employable skills,
  • Lack of focus by the existing programs on the informal sector and agriculture.
  • Lack of apprenticeship schemes.
  • Negative attitudes by the youth towards work especially in agriculture and rural areas.
  • Lack of a comprehensive employment policy.
  • Rapid changes in technology
  • Inflation which makes expensive to pay a living salary
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    Who is an unemployed person?

This refers to a person who is available for and actively seeking work, but has not been able to find any. He or she has not worked for more than one hour within any given week.What are the types of unemployment?

There are mainly three types of unemployment:

Cyclical unemployment which occurs as a result of a deficiency of aggregate demand and is associated with a fall in the number of jobs. It is very much linked to the business cycle. Structural unemployment which is caused technological changes which imply that the skills of some people become obsolete. Frictional unemployment which is linked to workers changing jobs and is therefore short in nature.
What are some of the causes of unemployment?

Gender discrimination, which may result in girls struggling for jobs. Limited access to education. Skills mismatch. Geographical location of job seekers. Low levels of economic activity and low investment. Limited formal work experience Lack of general and job-related skills Economic decline, which may led to downsizing or reduce hiring of new workers. Poor health conditions. Political instability.
How can employers help to reduce unemployment?


Promoting education and skills development. Expanding their businesses to create more job opportunities. Using labour intensive technology. Giving opportunities for young graduates to do apprenticeships or internships. Paying taxes regularly to the government to be utilised in job creation initiatives. Supporting the development of small businesses. Avoiding discrimination in the workplace. Advising government on appropriate interventions that can lead to the reduction of unemployment.
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