Government Recovery Plans Decrease Unemployment Rate

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South Africa’s official unemployment rate saw a gradual decline during the last few months of 2022. Studies have suggested that employment and job creation is on an upward trend in the country.


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Earlier this year, Statistics South Africa published the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for Q4: 2022, showing a small drop in the country’s unemployment rate.

The results recorded a slight decline of 0.2 percentage points, which meant that the unemployment rate reached 32.7% in the final quarter of 2022.

During a recent Cabinet meeting, South Africa’s cabinet highlighted the upward trajectory in the country’s employment situation as the QLFS reported a 48 000 increase in the number of jobs in the formal non-agricultural sector during the fourth quarter of 2022.

According to the data, growth in employment was driven by trade, business services and the mining sector. This brought the level of employment in the country to almost 10 million.

The results of the survey further indicated that around 169 000 jobs were gained between the third and the fourth quarter of 2022, putting the total number of employed people in the country at 15.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Furthermore, cabinet noted that the increase in the number of jobs is a result of concerted efforts by all players, in partnership with government, in the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP).

The ERRP is a collaborative initiative between government and various social partners which aims to build a new economy with hopes to unleash South Africa's true potential.

Government has stressed that the goal of the plan is to create sustainable, resilient and inclusive economy. This will focus on various areas including job creation and mass public employment programmes. 

The focused implementation of the ERRP is resulting in strong inroads into employment creation and the fight against unemployment and poverty.

Cabinet added that the fourth quarter jobs figures build on the solid employment gains of 648 000 jobs in the second quarter of 2022 and 204 000 jobs created between the second and third quarter of 2022.

Although recent declines have been shown, the unemployment rate is still above its pre-pandemic level of 30.1% and could remain elevated as the country’s energy crisis continues to hinder growth in the economy and labour markets. 

 

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Person with a sign looking for a job

While the unemployment rate decreased marginally during the final months of 2022, jobs created in the fourth quarter represent progress. However, more work needs to be done to ensure substantial progress in reducing unemployment in South Africa.

 


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