The more government and private sector try to curb the rising state of unemployment in the country, the higher it goes. SA’s unemployment rate has skyrocketed sharply in the first three months of this year with thousands losing their jobs while thousands more are unable to get a job.
According to new data report from Statistics SA on Monday, while SA’s unemployment rate increased to 26.7% of the labour force in the first quarter of 2016, up 2.2 percentage points from 24.5% in the fourth quarter of 2015, employment levels declined quarter-to-quarter in all industries except Community & Social services and Agriculture which grew by 51,000 and 16,000 respectively.
From the report’s estimate, not less than 5.7-million people are actively looking for jobs but are unable to find any. This opposed the 5.2-million people recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.
The sudden rise of SA’s unemployment has become a major concern to economic sectors especially as companies struggle to operate in the low growth environment while more people are entering the labour market to look for jobs.
Referring to the huge decrease in employment rate, the statistics revealed that the biggest job losses were observed in Trade (119,000), Manufacturing (100,000) and Construction (77,000).
This, alongside other factors is caused by the fact that more people became of working age and started looking for jobs, contributing to a higher unemployment rate.
SA placed its working age is 15 years to 64 years. The working-age population increased by 159,000 to 36.4-million between the two quarters.
“Following employment gains in seven consecutive quarters, second quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, the number of employed people decreased by 355,000 in the first quarter of 2016,” Statistics SA said. “The decrease in the first quarter of 2016 is the largest decrease since 2010.”
Explaining further the areas where these job losses were higher, the report said between the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year, the number of employed people in the formal sector decreased in six industries
Despite the quarterly increase, employment in Agriculture was lower by 15,000 compared to a year ago. The opposite pattern was observed in Mining, Construction, Trade and Finance & other business services.
“The expanded SA’s unemployment rate which includes those who were available to work but did not look for work in the reference period also increased by 2.5 percentage points between Q4: 2015 and Q1: 2016 to 36.3%”, StatsSA said.
South Africa has been numbered one of the highest unemployment rates in the world unfortunately, Politicians often bandy about claims about employment in an attempt to score political points only to forfeit their promises when in government seat.
As the local government elections is forth coming, south Africans have been urged to carefully choose an individual who would help boost the task of providing jobs for the masses.