Pali Lehohla, statistician-general of Statistics South Africa, released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of this year in Pretoria on Thursday, saying that the growth in employment was offset by the increase in the number of job seekers who entered the market in the beginning of the year.
The expanded unemployment rate – which includes those who wanted to work but did not look for work – increased by 0.8 of a percentage point to 36.4%, or 391 000 people. This amounts to 9.3 million people who were unemployed but wanted to work in the first quarter of 2017.
Lehohla said the gap between the unemployment rate envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP) and the current rate is widening.
“The NDP states unemployment should be 14% by 2020 and we have only two and a half years to that target,” he said. “The gap to 2020 currently stands at 13.7 percentage points.”
In the fourth quarter of 2016, unemployment stood at 26.5%.
Of the 433 000 of people who joined the ranks of the unemployed in the first quarter of 2017, approximately 58% were young people between the ages of 15 and 34 years. “Unemployment remained high among those with an education level of less than matric at 33.1%, which is 5.4 percentage points higher than the national average.”
This number is even higher when the number of discouraged work seekers is taken into account. The quarterly figures show that less than 5% of the discouraged work seekers have tertiary education, while approximately 72% had an education level below matric.
The unemployment rate among graduates
Employment by industry level
The latest figures show that the manufacturing sector reflected the biggest growth in employment in the first quarter of 2017 – by 62 000.
The mining industry showed employment growth of 26 000 after a decline for four consecutive quarters.
The agricultural sector shed 44 000 jobs in the period under review, while employment in the trade sector dropped by 15 000.
Jobs in the informal sector also went down by 14 000 to 2.7 million. DM
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.
The movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is titled It’s Raining Falafel in Israel.