The unemployment rate in South Africa has declined rapidly by a percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 24.5% of the country’s population.
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey reported that the population of South Africa’s working-age was 36.3 million, out of which 16 million were employed, while 5.2 million were unemployed and 15.1 million not economically active. Not being economically active can come in form of not completing matric which makes it hard for one get a good job or those who just can’t work due to a disability or any other reason.
According to the report, at least 66% that constituted the unemployed were people between the ages of 15 and 34, clearly more than half of them (57.6%) did not complete matric.
Over the years, the official unemployment rate in the country has increased by 0.2 percent of a percentage point every year.
According to Statistician General Pali Lehohla, the areas with the largest share of employment in the last quarter was in finance and other business sectors, trade, and community and social services.
However, there were records of job losses in different sectors like agriculture – 37 000, manufacturing – 36 000 and construction – 21 000. While Jobs in private households increased by 13,000 in the last quarter.
Lehola pointed out that even though agriculture was a small contributor to the GPD, its importance in fighting unemployment rate cannot be overlooked.
Without it, “all life ceases to exist”, he said in the context of the sector’s job losses and the drought.
The recorded losses in agriculture were mainly caused by a reduction in the growing of crops and combined farming of crops and animals.
Lehohla said the results of the survey were delayed and re-scheduled to a day after National Budget to get the facts together. “As I stated, I delayed it because I had to do quality checks,” he explained.