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Demand-side Constraints to Youth Employment in Zambia : Evidence from the Third Enterprise Survey Follow Up Round (英语)

What are the key demand-side constraints to youth employment in the formal sector in Zambia? This note seeks to answer this question by providing evidence from a recent follow-up round of data from the Zambia Enterprise Survey (ES). Around 375 000 young people expected to enter the Zambian labor force per year by 2030. Historically, however, only around 137 000 productive jobs have been created annually, meaning that the scale of youth unemployment will become an increasing problem unless there are bold steps taken to address it. While there is a great deal of evidence on the supply-side constraints to youth employment in Zambia, there is far less known about what the main reasons are for why formal sector firms in urban areas do not employ more youth. We use data from a module on youth employment that was included as a special topic in the third follow-up round of the Zambia ES. This data covers around 600 formal sector firms which have been part of a longitudinal study which began before the start of the COVID-19 and has run through 2020 and 2021. The rest of this report proceeds as follows. Section 2 presents a broad overview of the literature on demand-side constraints in sub-Saharan Africa in general, while Section 3 does the same for Zambia in particular. Section 4 describes the dataset used in the analysis and provides some descriptive statistics of key variables. Section 5 presents the main descriptive results of the analysis, and Section 6 presents some concluding remarks and reflects on policy options.