Unemployment rises – but so do employment figures

2016-11-22 17:09

Economic constraints have gripped the country, and the stats are here to prove it.

According to the latest quarterly labour force survey , the national unemployment rate has risen to 27.1%.

“Simultaneously, as we look at an increasing unemployment number of 27.1%, there’s also an increase in number of people who’ve been employed. The point is when people see that there’s employment their job search behaviour changes – they start searching,” Statistician-General Pali Lehola said in Pretoria today.

According to the survey, the number of employed people grew by 288 000 but this growth in employment was offset by the increased number of those unemployed, pushing this number to 239 000.

The Democratic Alliance has called the levels of unemployment under the current government as a “jobs blood bath”.

“These are not just numbers and percentages, but ordinary people who will now no longer have an income to support themselves and their families,” DA labour spokesperson Ian Ollis said today.

The DA also criticised the proposal of the national minimum wage, saying that the announcement may add to the “job crisis”.

Compared with the third quarter of 2015, “employment remained virtually unchanged (up by 5000 or 0,0%) while unemployment grew by 455 000 or 8.4%.

This led to an increase in unemployment rate by 1.6 percentage points to 27.1%,” the survey said.

Between the second and third quarters of this year, the informal sector recorded the largest employment gains in trade (55 000), construction (53 000), transport (26 000) and finance and other business services (20 000).

The largest decline in employment occurred in community and social services (40 000), manufacturing (38 000) and trade (30 000) industries.

Annual employment gains were observed in construction (21 000), transport (14 000) and mining (1000) industries.

Avantika Seeth
Multimedia journalist
City Press
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March 17 2019