Mining and labour analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane says while there have been some green shoots in labour market activity, South Africa still faces an unemployment crisis.
This as the latest numbers from Statistics South Africa show a reduction in the rate of unemployment from 35.3% in the third quarter of 2021, to 34.5% in the first quarter of 2022.
Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey indicates that 370 000 jobs were gained between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.
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This means that the number of unemployed people now stands at 7 000 862.
45.5% of the labour force was without work in the first quarter, compared with 46.2% in the fourth quarter.
The biggest job gains were recorded in community and social services, manufacturing and trade.
Molopyane explains: “There might be glimmers of hope here and there, on individual sectors performing well here and there, but overall, South African is facing a crisis of a labour market that cannot create jobs. An economy that is struggling to create even the most basic of jobs, such that people who are on the lower levels of income are to enter the market. So for as long as the pandemic is here [and the country continues to] struggle with keeping power on, it’s going to affect key sectors.”
Analysis of the latest Stats SA unemployment numbers: Risenga Maluleka