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Zimbabwe's Poverty Datum Line Shoots Up

Zimbabwe's Central Statistical Office said Friday that its so-called Poverty Datum Line indicating the basic living cost for a family of five soared in August to Z$12 million (US$34) from some $11 million in July and $8.2 million in June.

Those amounts are far more than what the average Zimbabwean worker earns - and in any case at least 80% of the workforce is unemployed.

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze of the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the freeze on prices and wages put into effect last month by President Robert Mugabe failed to keep the poverty line from rising.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...