In the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the 2021 fourth quarter, South Africa’s unemployment rate had reached its peak. Recently released statistics show a slight change for the first quarter of 2022.
Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) has revealed that the unemployment rate in South Africa has decreased by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2022.
In the previous quarter, South Africa recorded its highest unemployment rate of 35.3%.
In a statement, Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said:
These results indicate that 370 000 jobs were gained between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.
Community and social services accounted for the biggest job gains, followed by jobs in manufacturing and trade.
Maluleke added that the number of discouraged work-seekers decreased by 1.4% and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 0.8% between the two quarters.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said that there is nothing to celebrate, alluding to the fact that people returned to their jobs after the government’s lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions.
In the past two years, the President had introduced the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) and other initiatives to combat youth unemployment.
According to data released for PES in March 2021, 700 000 job opportunities were “supported”, and 422 786 actual jobs were created.
Former Treasury’s deputy director-general, Andrew Donaldson said the government could “think big” about public employment, and such programmes should be thought of as permanent rather than just relief programmes.
Cosatu national spokesperson, Sizwe Pamla said the Presidential Employment Stimulus funding needs to be doubled to R30 billion to help create 1 million job opportunities for young people.