Grow­ing –

Stats SA

Sunday World - - World Of Business -

THE un­em­ploy­ment rate fell to 23,9% be­tween the third and fourth quar­ters of last year, Sta­tis­tics South Africa said in Pre­to­ria on Tues­day.

“Be­tween the third and fourth quar­ters of 2011, the num­ber of un­em­ployed per­sons de­creased by 198 000,” said Ke­filoe Ma­siteng, deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral of pop­u­la­tion and so­cial sta­tis­tics, at the re­lease of the Quar­terly Labour Force Sur­vey for the fourth quar­ter of 2011.

This, she said, com­pared to an un­em­ploy­ment rate of 25% in the third quar­ter of last year. How­ever, 4,2m peo­ple in South Africa were still un­em­ployed.

Of those un­em­ployed, 2,9m, or 67,5%, had been look­ing for work for a year or longer. About 60,6% of job seek­ers do not have ma­tric.

“This means they stand a higher chance of re­main­ing un­em­ployed go­ing into the fu­ture be­cause of their level of ed­u­ca­tion,” Ma­siteng said.

Un­em­ploy­ment was high­est among youths aged 15 to 34 years, and was higher for women than men.

Ma­siteng said it ap­peared that jobs had started be­ing cre­ated in 2011.

“There is a sense that the econ­omy is grow­ing and jobs are start­ing to be cre­ated, ” she said.

How­ever, she warned that the num­ber of jobs tra­di­tion­ally grew ev­ery year in the fourth quar­ter due to in­creased con­trac­tual work over the fes­tive sea­son.

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey about 13,5m peo­ple were em­ployed in the fourth quar­ter, which was a net gain of about 365 000 com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2010.

Job growth in 2011 had not made up for the loss of 118 000 jobs in 2010 and 777 000 in 2009.

The for­mal sec­tor grew by 435 000 jobs in 2011 com­pared to 2010. This was af­ter it lost 538 000 jobs over 2009 and 2010. The in­for­mal sec­tor shed 91 000 jobs in the fourth quar­ter of 2011 com­pared to the same pe­riod the year be­fore. This was the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive quar­ter of losses in this sec­tor.

Ma­siteng said this could be seen as pos­i­tive as jobs in the for­mal sec­tor might be more sus­tain­able. The in­crease in for­mal sec­tor jobs was driven by a gain in the fi­nance and busi­ness ser­vices in­dus­try of 145 000 jobs, fol­lowed by trade with 85 000 jobs, and com­mu­nity and so­cial ser­vices with 76 000 jobs.

Un­der the ex­panded def­i­ni­tion of un­em­ploy­ment, which cov­ers peo­ple not ac­tively seek­ing work in the past four weeks but avail­able to start work al­most im­me­di­ately, the rate was 35,4% in the fourth quar­ter of 2011. This was down from 35,8% in the cor­re­spond­ing quar­ter in 2010. – The Good News, Sapa

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