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AfricaMoney | October 19, 2017

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Mauritius saw unemployment rate fall to 7.8% in 2014 with tertiary sector giving most jobs

Mauritius saw unemployment rate fall to 7.8% in 2014 with tertiary sector giving most jobs

In 2014, unemployment rate stood at 7.8% in Mauritius with youngsters constituting the bulk of the jobless ranks, and with the tertiary sector becoming increasingly important in terms of employment, accounting for a towering 66% of total employment in the island economy. (Image:

Mauritius’ employment rate went up slightly by 0.8% in 2014 over 2013, with absolute figures showing 530,900 people under employment in 2014, according to Statistics Mauritius‘report on ‘Labour force, Employment and Unemployment for the Year 2014’published on 19 May 2015.

The labour force for Mauritius refers to the Mauritian population aged 16 years and above in the Republic of Mauritius excluding foreign workers, and, for 2014, it stood at 571,700.Unemployment level worked out to7.8% upon a decrease in female unemployment from 12.2% to 11.4%.

Unemployment rate was highest among young persons and decreased progressively with increasing age. It was at 33.8% among those below 20 years and 2.5% at age 50 years and above. The disparity between male and female unemployment rate was highest in the lower age group; the difference was nearly 16 percentage points among the unemployed below 20 years.

Between the period 2013 and 2014, labour force increased to 575,700 with activity rate remaining unchanged at 59.9%.Within this, male activity rate increased from 75.1% to 75.2% while female activity rate decreased from 45.4% to 45.3%.

In term of sector-wise employment, the tertiary sector, covering segments like accommodation and food service activities, transportation, storage and all the other service industries, provided jobs to 66 out of 100 workers and gave the highest pay.

It can be noted that, over time, the tertiary sector has become increasingly important in terms of employment and from 2004 to 2014, employment in this sector rose from 266,100 to 351,900 and accounts for 66% of total employment currently.

Meanwhile, the secondary sector that covers the manufacturing, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply and water supply, sewerage waste management, remediation and construction activities, employed 26 out of 100 workers. Finally, in the primary sector, a mere 8 out of 100 workers were employed.

Thus, the Mauritian workforce is moving up the occupation ladder with legislators, senior officials and managers; professionals; technicians and associate professionals having increased from 15.9% in 2004 to 24.8% in 2014. Service workers and shop and market sales workers also had a larger share of employment in 2014, 20.0% against 16.7% in 2004. In contrast, the share of employment in the lowest occupational group representing elementary jobs decreased from 21.9% to 16.1%.  Also, skilled agricultural and fishery workers; craft and related trade workers; plant and machine operators and assemblers were less represented in 2014.

Finally, the report shows that the most popular method of job search was ‘applied to prospective employers‘and ‘checked at factories, worksites’ and around 36% were registered at the Employment Service, while around 5% had taken steps to start a business of their own.

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