South Africa has the dubious honour of having one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.
But there’s been a slight move in the right direction this week.
The quarterly labour force survey (QLFS) released on Tuesday showed that unemployment fell to 34.5% in the first quarter of this year – down from 35.3% . In layman’s terms, this means that the number of jobs created rose by 370 000. The industries that grew were community and social services, manufacturing and trade. Private households, finance, construction and agriculture experienced the most job losses.
It’s worth noting that experts are concerned that these numbers might not be accurate.
That’s because Stats SA stopped doing face-to-face interviews for the QLFS in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, interviews were done telephonically, and reached fewer people. But the good news is the latest QLFS was done with face-to-face interviews. Stats SA said this helped improve the response rate.
Back to the unemployment figures: while this recent drop is, well, a drop in the ocean, it is encouraging to see a move, however minuscule, in the unemployment numbers. (We’ve previously explained what SA needs to do to change our unemployment problem: check out our site for more)