Statistics Mauritius recently announced that the Continuous Multipurpose Household Survey (CMHS), it’s fifteenth such exercise in critical household data collection that covers both employment statistics as well as other economic and social indicators, would start this month. To last till December, surveys will be done each month in 940 households, covering both Mauritius and Rodrigues.

The main objective of the CMPHS is to obtain information on the labour force, employment and unemployment.

Typical topics covered under the survey include demographic characteristics (such as age, sex, educational attainment and relationship to household head), labour related characteristics (covering employment, unemployment, hours of work, wages, employment in informal sector, absence from work, among others) as well as other financial details such as access to credits, other sources of income (for instance, income from property) and so on.

It may be noted that the first such survey was conducted in 1999, and covered population aged 15 years and over in labour estimates. However, 2007 onwards, following amendment to the Labour Act in Mauritius to align it with International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions, labour data is gathered only for population aged 16 years old and over.

Statistics Mauritius has requested in its communique that members of the public who are contacted to participate in the survey must provide investigators with the relevant information, which will be kept strictly confidential. The investigators are state employees recruited by Statistics Mauritius who will have their identity cards on their person.

To better comprehend the importance of such surveys, it may be noted that the latest survey yielded critical data on employment and unemployment, enabled comparison of the two estimations with previous years’ data and assisted the government in taking key decisions on creation of job opportunities.

Under the last such survey, launched in 2012, labour force, employment and unemployment figures were publicly released up to the second quarter of 2013. The numbers indicated that unemployment rate decreased to 8.2 per cent in the period compared to the first quarter when it stood at 8.7 per cent. Also, in absolute terms, employment in Mauritius was estimated at 558,000 individuals in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 549,200 at the first quarter of 2013.

Finally, survey findings indicated that the number of people employed in Mauritius was expected to increase from 544,800 at the close of 2012 to 550,800 by end-2013 while the unemployment rate could be expected to increase from 8.1 per cent to 8.3 per cent over the same period.

Photo by Peter Kuchar