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Briefing paper

BP119: Unemployment biggest problem for Basotho, who also endorse illegal immigration to Get Jobs

16 Apr 2015
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Lesotho's economy predominantly relies on subsistence farming.In recognition of this, political campaigns for the recent May 2012 general elections emphasized food security through empowering the farmers. Lesotho’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008 was 9.1 billion maloti, with an annual growth rate of 4.4% according to the Bureau of Statistics. Since 1994, the levels of unemployment in Lesotho have been fluctuating, but have remained above 20%. This suggests that at least one in five Basotho are unemployed and in search of jobs. The 2002/2003 Household Budget Survey shows the unemployment rate at 23.2% of the total labour force, as compared to 28.7% recorded in 1994/95. In 2008, the unemployment rate further declined to 23%, a ccording to the Continuous Multiple Survey Report, based on the census of 2006. In 2009, unemployment increased to 25.3%, and was roughly at this level at the beginning of 2013, according to International Labour Organization estimates.