(Ecofin Agency) - The Cameroonian Institute of Statistics has published the third report on employment and the informal sector (EESI3).
The document indicates that a local informal sector worker earns an average of CFA83,409 per month. Incomes range from CFA59,520 in rural areas to CFA96,367 in urban areas. An hour of work in the informal sector pays an average of CFA669, and the average monthly income of employers is CFA181,200, nearly double that of those working on their own account (CFA93,500).
The second phase of the survey conducted in 2021 identified 4,762 non-agricultural informal production units (IPU) and surveyed 4,576 of them, resulting in a coverage rate of 96.1%. It reveals a mere 6% rate of salaried workers. This low level of wage employment is more prevalent in the industry (9.6%) than in services (4.7%) and commerce (3.3%). However, the service sector is the one that predominantly employs informal workers, accounting for 35%.
The majority of informal production units predominantly employ self-employed workers (78.3%). This ratio is higher among women (85.1%) than among men (70.6%). Around 52.3% of informal workers are under some form of employment contract, with only 2.1% possessing a written contract and 50.2% with a verbal agreement (either informal or tacit).
Moreover, nearly 3 out of 4 workers have learned either through self-teaching or on-the-job training. Their average age is 35.7 years, ranging from 34.4 years in the industry to 35 years in services and 37.8 years in commerce.
Regarding investments in the informal sector, the report indicates that 55.9% of promoters fund the initiation of their activities using their own funds. Utilization of "tontines" (rotating credit associations) and donations/inheritances accounts for 12.9% and 16.3%, respectively. The average capital stands at CFA378,400 nationally, with half of the informal production units having a capital below or equal to CFA36,000. The national annual investment amounts to CFA54 billion.
The study also reveals changes in the main indicators of the informal sector, showing an increase in the average monthly income of workers by about CFA37,100 between 2010 and 2021. This increase is more substantial in transport (+CFA45,400) and catering (+CFA46,300). The average investment amount by informal production units has increased by CFA183,800. Transport once again (+CFA579,400) and repairs (+CFA251,400) show the most significant increases. Only the capital invested in catering decreased (-CFA22,600) between 2010 and 2021.
Lastly, the proportion of informal production units acquiring equipment in the 12 months prior to the survey has seen minimal change. There is an observed investment effort in the industry sector, with an 8.1 percentage point increase. The average investment value has risen by CFA26,000 between 2010 and 2021.
Let’s note that the INS defines the informal sector as all production units that do not have a taxpayer number and/or do not keep formal accounts. The first survey of the EESI type dates back to 2005, and the second to 2010.