South African unemployment rate edged up to 32.1%

Written by on February 20, 2024

Written by: Kwena Seema


South Africa’s unemployment rate increased to 32.1% in the fourth quarter of last year from 31.9% in the previous quarter.

According to Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by the statistician general Risenga Maluleke, sectors including the industries that contributed to the net employment decline include Community and social services by 171 000, Construction by 36 000, Agriculture by 35 000, Trade by 28 000 and Manufacturing by 1 000. However, Finance by 128 000, Transport by 57 000, Mining by 37 000 and Private households by 18 000 which was recorded as the largest employment gains.

Meanwhile, Statistics South Africa highlighted in its presentation stated that the number of unemployed people in South Africa has increased substantially over the last decade, from 4.8 million in Q4:2013 to 7.9 million in Q4:2023.

The unemployment data comes the day before Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana is set to table the treasury’s budget for the coming fiscal year. Meanwhile, the Young Communist League of South Africa (the YCLSA) has expressed its concerns on the rapid increase of the unemployment figures in the country.   A statement released the YCLSA urges the youth to continue to pursue job opportunities in the formal sector, to continue venturing in the informal sector to create more employment opportunities in the spirit of self-reliance.

“The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) is perturbed by the release of the 2023 Q 4 Quarterly Labor Force Survey which reveals that the official unemployment rate increased by 0,2% to 32,1%. The increment is from 31.9% unemployment rate in the third quarter of the same year. 46 000 more people of working ages join a pool of 7,9 million others who are swimming in poverty due to unemployment amidst the cost-of-living crisis”.

The Youth organization further calls for a strong public sector and all other provincial governments including the Minister of Employment and Labour to endeavor a benchmark perhaps to pick their minds on approaches on coordination of employment creation through programs such as Nasi Ispani programme.

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