Home National Unemployment Rate Increases to 32.9% in South Africa

Unemployment Rate Increases to 32.9% in South Africa

by Central News Reporter
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unemployment rate


Unemployment Rate

In an alarming update from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported a significant uptick in the unemployment rate, now standing at a worrying 32.9% for the first quarter of 2024. The data, released on Tuesday, shows a distillation of the continued challenges facing the South African labour market, with an additional 330,000 persons joining the ranks of the unemployed, bringing the total to a staggering 8.2 million individuals.

Despite a modest increase in employment figures, with an additional 22,000 people securing jobs to reach a total of 16.7 million employed persons, the gains have been overshadowed by the surge in unemployment. The official statistics illustrate a somewhat tense scenario where, although there is job creation, it is not sufficient to keep pace with the number of individuals entering the job market.

The decrease in the number of those not economically active, particularly due to reasons other than discouragement, failed to make a significant dent in the unemployment crisis. A slight drop in discouraged work-seekers by 1,000 does highlight some movement in the job search landscape, yet the overarching data paints a bleak picture.

A sectoral breakdown reveals a mixed bag of fortunes for the South African workforce. The formal sector saw an uptick, with 56,000 new jobs, indicating resilience in certain industries. Notably, trade and manufacturing sectors experienced growth, contributing to employment increases alongside private households, transport, agriculture, and mining. However, this was counterbalanced by losses in community and social services, construction, finance, and utilities, showcasing an economy in flux.

The geographical spread of employment changes underscores the uneven impact across provinces. Encouragingly, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, and the Northern Cape saw increases in employment figures. In contrast, the Western Cape, North West, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, and Limpopo faced declines, underlining the regional disparities in job creation and economic activity.

A particularly distressing facet of the report is the plight of the youth, with those aged between 15 to 34 years continuing to bear the brunt of unemployment. A notable increase in unemployed youth by 236,000 to 4.9 million, juxtaposed with a minor decrease in employed youth, underscores the vulnerability of this demographic, exacerbating the socioeconomic challenges faced by the country.

unemployment rate
Unemployment Rate Increases to 32.9% in South Africa 3

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