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Malawi Labour Force Survey 2013


In Malawi the first comprehensive stand-alone labour force survey was done in 1983. However, the survey results were not published. Consequently, labour market statistics have largely come from censuses and household based surveys including Employment and Earnings Surveys, Informal Sector Surveys, Household and Income Surveys, Agricultural Sample Surveys and Business Economic Surveys. However, these data sources have not provided adequate information on the labour market situation.

In order to satisfy the demand for detailed labour market statistics, the NSO together with Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Industry and Trade conducted a stand-alone labour force sample survey in 2013.


Objectives of the survey

The main objective of the 2013 Malawi Labour Force Survey (MLFS) was to generate reliable information on employment and unemployment situation and other labour force characteristics of the population aged 15-64 years.

The specific objectives of the survey were:

  • To estimate the size of the labour force, 15-64 years by demographic characteristics
  • To estimate the number of employed persons by occupation, industry and employment status
  • To estimate the population which is not working together with their demographic characteristics
  • To estimate youth unemployment.

The results of the survey provide statistics that serve a wide variety of purposes. Some of these purposes are:

  • To monitor the economic situation,
  • To formulate and implement policies for decent work, employment creation and poverty reduction, income support as well as other social programmes. 
  • To provide indicators for monitoring the country’s progress towards achieving both MGDS II and MDGs goals.

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