Unemployment at 27.6%: 'It's sad people are starting to give up the job hunt'

According to Statistics South Africa, the country’s unemployment rate has risen to 27.6% at the end of the first quarter of the year.

The unemployment rate has risen to the highest level since the third quarter of 2017.

Read: 6.2 million South Africans are actively looking for a job but can’t find one

There are now 6.2 million South Africans who are actively looking for a job but can’t find one.

Africa Melane speaks to statistician-general Risenga Maluleka and Nascence advisory economist and director Xhanti Payi about what these figures mean.

One thing we would want to say is that we know which sectors and sub-sectors shed employment and on the basis of that, we can say certainly that these might be the reasons.

Risenga Maluleka, Statistician-general

The construction sector has lost a lot of jobs, particularly in the building of complete construction as well as building installations inside the industry. We have lost about 142 000 jobs in that sector.

Risenga Maluleka, Statistician-general

He says we lost about 94 000 jobs in the financial sector in areas like pension funding and insurance and 65 000 jobs were lost in social work and services of sewer and refuse removal.

Maluleka adds that the report also shows people who have given up looking for jobs.

We have people who have been looking for jobs for more than a year, so you have people that have been unemployed for more than a year, and that number has moved for over a while.

Risenga Maluleka, Statistician-general

Payi joins the conversation and says these figures are devastating.

Mainly, because last year we celebrated coming out of recession and we thought that there is all this investment into the country and that at some point we were about to see the tide turning. We recognise that people are starting to give up and that is very sad.

Xhanti Payi, Advisory economist and director - Nascence

He says the question is not when are we going to see the jobs that the Job Summit promised, but it should be when are we going to see robust plans to figure out what are the courses for unemployment.

Listen below to statistician-general Risenga Maluleka shares his views:

Listen to Payi share his views below:


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