Cameroon’s National Institute of Statistics, INS, and trade unions, have disagreed on the country’s unemployment rate, with the institute estimating the figure at between 10% and 30%, against 70% by the unions.
In a recent study, the Institute noted that unemployment remained a major phenomenon in major cities, especially Douala and Yaounde, where the rate is over 30% of the working population. It noted that of the 90% of workers in the informal sector, 70% earned less than 23,500 CFA francs a month.
But the Federation of Cameroon’s Free Unions, USLC, and the General Union of Cameroonian Workers, UGTC, put the unemployment rate at over 76%. “Thousands of young graduates have been excluded from the public job market under the economic programmes for public finance stabilisation and the establishment of various structural adjustment policies imposed by the donors,” the unions said. “The rise of the informal sector is the consequence of the decline in job opportunities. Not only has the Cameroonian civil service stopped recruiting, but most companies, especially those in the public sector, have been privatised, resulting in massive redundancies,” charged UGTC President Isaac Bissala.
The trade unions also called for a “new policy to halt the ‘hydra-headed monster’ of unemployment.”