The economic downturn, exacerbated by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, has resulted in 13 683 job losses between January 2020 and June 2021.
Statistics provided by the ministry of labour indicate 12 238 employees were retrenched last year, while 1 444 employees lost their jobs between January and June this year.
"Of the total number of employees retrenched, 12 238 were retrenched by 896 employers from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020 while 1 444 employees were retrenched by 190 employers from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021," the ministry's acting executive director Lydia Indombo indicated.
Indombo said 10 773 of the total layoffs were either due to economic reasons or closure of businesses.
About 2 909 of the job losses were due to Covid-19 related reasons.
Indombo said there were no retrenchments due to Covid-19 between April and May this year.
Many of the job losses were observed in the hospitality sector which recorded 4 105 retrenchments.
Hospitality is followed by wholesale and retail (1 707) and mining and quarrying (1 266), in the top three.
The sectors which recorded the least layoffs are arts, entertainment, creation (85), information and communication (73) and those in private households (five).
Other sectors recorded job losses between 484 and 758.
The transport and logistics lost 758 employees, manufacturing 708, agriculture, forestry and fishing 366, construction 517, finance and insurance 197, education 217 while 2 869 other employees lost their jobs in unspecified sectors.
These job losses according to the statistics availed by the labour ministry have no record in Kavango West, Kavango East and the Zambezi region.
A businessman from Oshikango, Jafet Nakanue said business has been tough since Covid-19 was detected in the country in March last year.
He said prior to Covid-19, business was already hard as small businesses had to compete with bigger businesses in the market.
He said the fuel market is also highly affected by the smuggling of fuel from Angola and calls on the two countries to put up a trade agreement to ease the burden on service stations.
He said following the job losses, some people have resorted to illegal smuggling at Oshikango.
As a result, there is currently no market for fuel at the border town because the fuel from Angola is cheap.
"There is no more hope to own a business anymore," he said.