Grim Picture Painted of SA’s Unemployment Landscape


On 30 July, Statistics South Africa released their Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of 2019. During this period, the official unemployment rate rose to 29.0%. This is 1.4% points up from the 27.6% seen in quarter one.

“Although government has done a lot of strategising in an attempt to curb unemployment,” says Jonathan Goldberg: CEO of Global Business Solutions, “we are not seeing tangible improvements to the rate of unemployment. There needs to be less talk and more action.”

Other salient statistics that emerged from the QLFS is that there are approximately 10.3 million South Africans, who are aged between 15 and 24 years, in Q2 of 2019. The percentage of young persons in this age bracket – who were not engaged in employment, education or training (NEET) – decreased by 0.9th of a percentage point to 32.3% (3.3 million). This is compared to the Q1 of 2019.

Of the 20.4 million people young people aged between15 and 34 years, 40.3% were not in employment, education or training (NEET). This signalled a decrease of 0.3 percentage points as compared to the first quarter of 2019.

“This decrease – be it ever so slight,” says John Botha: COO of Global Business Solutions, “shows that initiatives – such as the Youth Employment Services and the Employment Tax Initiative – are working towards achieving their objectives of assisting to reduce youth unemployment figures in South Africa.”

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