The results of the employment survey relating to the second quarter of 2020, carried out by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) showed that 1946.4 thousand employed people were not present at work in April 2020, which represents 58.3% of the total employed.
The reasons for the absence were overwhelmingly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, with, in particular, the general lockdown decreed between March 22 and May 3, 2020.
The mechanical and electrical industries, hotels and restaurants, construction and public works recorded the highest absenteeism rates, reaching 93.3%, 90.1% and 82.4% respectively.
The agriculture and fisheries, banking and insurance, mining and energy sectors recorded the highest workplace attendance rates, reaching 79.4%, 68.5% and 53.9% respectively.
51.9 thousand workplaces destroyed in industry
It should be noted that persons absent due to lockdown (whether in formal or informal employment) remain in employment, while being temporarily absent, in so far as they intend to return to the activity carried out prior to lockdown. Therefore, this group of persons is counted in the employed population.
Most sectors of economic activity experienced a decline in the number of persons employed during the second quarter of 2020.
The agricultural sector recorded an average decrease of 11.9 thousand employed. The manufacturing sector recorded a decrease of 51.9 thousand employees.
This is the same for non-manufacturing industries and services sectors, which saw a drop of 46.8 thousand and 52.7 thousand employees respectively.
On the other hand, some sectors experienced a quasi-stability of the number of employees compared to the first quarter of 2020, such as the mining and energy sectors, and banking and insurance.
34.4% of employees did not receive their salary for the month of April 2020.
Lassoued puts things into perspective and is optimistic
Deciphering these results, INS DG Adnane Lassoued said that, “the COVID-19 crisis has weighed heavily on the labor market.
On average over the quarter, the unemployment rate rose to 18%, its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2011.
It should nevertheless be noted that, unlike in 2011, a large part of the employed population (more than 58% in April) was on temporary work stoppage during the lockdown.
Job losses, which averaged 161 thousand over the quarter, were greatest in services (-52.7 thousand), manufacturing (-51.9 thousand) and construction (-46.8 thousand)”.
The survey also reveals that 34.4% of employees did not receive any pay during the general lockdown in April and only 47.8% received their full salary.
The DG of the INS then relativized these results, stating that “the infra-quarterly profile of employment statistics indicates an improvement in the labor market during the deconfinement of the activity.
The monthly estimate shows that the unemployment rate, which peaked at 19% in April, has since fallen to 16.6% in June.
Similarly, the rate of presence at work of the employed, which was only 42% in April, reached 95% in June, indicating a gradual normalization of activity.
However, this nascent recovery remains dependent on the evolution of the health situation both in Tunisia and in the partner countries and more generally on an improvement in the business climate.