The Way Forward As 8 Million People Remain Unemployed In SA


Considering the high level of unemployment in the country, Statistics South Africa suggests government must focus on the training and skills development of youths if it wants to see a lower unemployment rate.

The organisation finalized its unemployment figures for the first quarter of 2016 yesterday. The alarming figures showed that the number of people employed shrunk by 0.2% with 15,000 job losses. In line with the job losses, gross earnings also declined by 4% during the quarter from over R545 million to just over R523 million.

See Also: Stats SA: Thousands Of Jobs Lost In The First Quarter Of 2016

Since the beginning of the year, the mining sector has lost 4,000 jobs.

However, government and construction sectors have managed to retain their jobs.

According to Statistician General of Statistics South Africa, Padi Lehohla, “the levels of unemployment in South Africa are not a consequence to a large extent of a lack of jobs, but a lack of skills.”

He sees the unemployment rate in the country as a cause for alarm.

“Policymakers have to be concerned about this and see how to invest, how they deal with unemployment because 8 million people [are] unemployed in the country,” he wailed.

Commenting, Nedbank’s senior economist Isaac Matshego, said the government still has a lot to do in order to help the economy grow. He added that business and labor also need to contribute.

“We (all) have to move faster in order to address these issues, to improve this economy’s capacity (and) crate jobs,” Matshego charged.

See Also: The Population In SA Keeps Increasing While Citizens Wallow In Poverty, See Stats

Stats SA says with about 5 million people unable to find a job, majority of young people in the country remain unemployed. He also pointed out that majority of unemployed people are blacks.

Meanwhile, a community survey for 2016 was released by Stats SA last week. The survey revealed that the country’s population increased to 55.7 million people since the last census.