Unemployment rate increases to 35.3% in fourth quarter of 2021: Stats SA

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Joblessness among South Africans continues to climb with the unemployment rate having increased from 34.9% to 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Statistics South Africa’s latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey has revealed that the number of employed persons increased by 262 000 to 14.5 million, and the number of unemployed persons also increased by 270 000 to 7.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2021.

According to the expanded definition, unemployment decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 46.2% in the fourth quarter of last year.

Economist at Econometrix, Laura Campbell says, “The broader trend that we’re seeing in the economy is that it’s becoming ever more capital intensive at the expense of millions in the labour markets searching for jobs, this is likely a sign off restrictive labour market conditions that encourage workers to keep pushing for higher wages which are above their productivity.”

“We’re expecting that employment will only get back to levels that prevailed pre the COVID-19 crisis in the second half of the decade. Structural reforms especially those related to education and labour market rigidity are needed urgently to reverse this debilitating trend of economic growth, ” Campbell adds.

Quarterly Labour Force Survey Document: