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Unemployment in South Africa at its Worst Level in 11years



Johannesburg- Sunburst Africa–Unemployment in South Africa continues to grow- dampening any hopes of finding a job for those who have never been employed. For the first time in eleven years the unemployment level is now 25,5 percent- statistics South Africa said yesterday.

According to data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Tuesday, The results for Q3: 2015 show that the working-age population was 36,1 million – 15,8 million employed, 5,4 million unemployed and 14,9 million not economically active, thus resulting in an unemployment rate of 25,5%, an absorption rate of 43,8% and a labour force participation rate of 58,8%. The formal sector accounted for the largest share of employment at 69,1%, while Agriculture accounted for the lowest share (5,7%). Discouraged work-seekers accounted for 15% of the not economically active population, while the share of other (not economically active) was 85%. The results for Q3: 2015 reflect a quarterly decrease in the not economically active population (200 000) and a quarterly increase in the economically active population (359 000).

The unemployment rate increased to 25.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015 from 24.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, Stats SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) showed.

Firstly, it is more difficult to find a job in South Africa especially if you have never worked. This is made worse by the fact that many mining companies have indicated their intentions to cut jobs in the coming months as cost of production continues to increase amidst falling resource prices and earnings. Manufacturing production has also performed so poorly in first quarter dashing any hopes of increased employment in the sector in the short term.

Secondly, the power crisis facing Eskom continues to compound the unemployment problem. The state owned power producer- Eskom is in multiple crisis including operational crisis, financial crisis and governance issues among others. This has reduced prospects of any expansion in various sectors of the economy as there will be no sufficient power to allow for such.

Thirdly, the problem of demand and supply mismatch in the labour market continues to compound the unemployment problem. While there are many trained graduates- many of their skills are not compatible with requirements of the industry. Enough of the bad news, if you are employed in the formal sector in South Africa, things have gotten better for you. Let’s look at why I say so. This is because, gross earnings increased as shown by Stats SA.

This indicates that things have gotten better for the employed however; these benefits are being wiped away by increased inflation. Nevertheless, there is little hope for the unemployed in South Africa as the economy continues to shrink and employers are reducing jobs. There is need for urgent rethink about where the jobs will come from for the rest of the year.

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