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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Zambia
2017-06-08T15:23:38Z | 2017-06-08T15:23:38Z | 2017

One of the world’s most youthful countries, Zambia’s economy has been booming since the early 2000s on the back of record high copper prices and private sector investment response to the better business environment. But poverty rose from 2010 to 2015 and remains very high in rural areas. Economic transformation is underway with workers moving to off-farm jobs, but these are heavily skewed in the capital Lusaka and in the Copperbelt, are mostly informal, and aside from jobs on the commercial farms, good waged are inaccessible to large groups of rural Zambians, especially women and youth. As labor has started moving out of agriculture into industry and especially into services, productivity and hours worked have fallen on average, especially for young people and those with low levels of education. Better educated people in the upper income quintiles are gaining most from rapid growth in Zambia, with the public sector hiring a substantial share of better educated Zambians and paying them more for a given level of education. The majority of Zambia’s rising number of poor people are stuck in low productivity agriculture. This report identifies the main jobs challenges facing Zambia and recommends policies and programs that could reduce poverty and make growth more inclusive by generating more and better jobs for Zambia.


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