SA Unemployment Rate Hits 13-Year High


While the government is finding it hard to bring down the rising SA unemployment rate, latest report has it that the SA unemployment rate has skyrocketed again reaching a 13-year high.

This is according to Statistics SA which announced that unemployment rate in the country has for the third quarter of 2016, climbed to 27.1%, topping the shocking jump seen at the start of the year.

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This rate, according to the department, is the highest since 2003, when SA unemployment hit the same level – but remains 0.1 percentage point lower than the highest rate seen since 1994, which was in 2002.

Statistics South Africa released the labour force survey for the third quarter of 2016 on Tuesday, which showed that of the 36,8m people of working age in South Africa, altogether 21,7m were in the labour force.

This means 5,9m South Africans are currently without work — the highest number since 2003.While out of the 36,8m-strong population of working age, 15m people were not economically active. This includes 2,3m discouraged work seekers.

“The current unemployment rate is 13.1% above the target rate suggested in the National Development Plan,” said statistician general Pali Lehohla.

He further noted that though the SA unemployment is high, there was also an increase in the number of people who are employed.

“An additional 288 000 were employed after two successive quarterly declines. You can have the two simultaneously happening,” Lehohla said.

Reacting to this shocking rise, the DA Shadow Minister of Labour, Ian Ollis said: ” This is a jobs blood-bath. These are not just numbers and percentages, but ordinary people who will now no longer have an income to support themselves and their families.

“Our country faces an unprecedented crisis which demands every person’s concern. We cannot accept the status-quo of Jacob Zuma and his ANC’s corruption, skewed priorities, and policy uncertainty, which continues to hamper economic growth and job creation.”

According to Ollis, the increased unemployment level will be escalated by the recently introduced national minimum wage.

This, he said, is yet another clear example of how policy decisions are taken without considering the impact on jobless South Africans, stuck in poverty and away from opportunities.

The quarterly employment gain of 288 000 in Q3 of 2016 was driven by increases in six of the ten industries. The largest increases were recorded in Construction (+104 000), Finance and other business services (+103 000), Trade (+61 000), Agriculture (+56 000) and Transport (+53 000).

The number of employed persons decreased in four industries, namely Community and social services (-45 000), Manufacturing (-28 000), Private households (-15 000) and Mining (-9 000).

Enough is enough. These results should unite South Africans in an effort to vote the ANC out at every sphere of government so that we can finally turn back the tide of unemployment, and create the millions of opportunities our country needs, the DA said.

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“The DA will be the voice of unemployed South Africans, and continue to work tirelessly both in opposition and where we govern to tackle this national crisis with the urgency it deserves,” The party added.