Job­less­ness rate down

Un­em­ploy­ment rate de­clined a per­cent­age point in last quar­ter of 2017

The Witness - - YOURMONEY - — Fin24.

THE un­em­ploy­ment rate de­clined a per­cent­age point to 26,7% in the fourth quar­ter of 2017, ac­cord­ing to the quar­terly labour force sur­vey re­leased by Statis­tics South Africa (Stats SA) yes­ter­day.

This com­prises 5,9 mil­lion peo­ple, based on the of­fi­cial def­i­ni­tion of un­em­ploy­ment, which in­cludes those who are not em­ployed, but who are ac­tively look­ing for jobs.

How­ever, this is 12,7 per­cent­age points away from the 14% tar­geted in the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan (NDP) for 2020, ac­cord­ing to statis­ti­cian­gen­eral Risenga Maluleke, who de­liv­ered the re­sults in Pretoria. The NDP tar­get for 2030 is six per­cent.

An un­em­ploy­ment rate of 27,7% was recorded for the se­cond and third quar­ters of 2017.

Based on the ex­panded def­i­ni­tion of un­em­ploy­ment — those aged 15­64, who are not em­ployed and are avail­able for work — a to­tal of 9,2 mil­lion peo­ple were un­em­ployed, amount­ing to 36,3%.

There was a net de­crease of 21 000 to 16,2 mil­lion in the num­ber of those em­ployed. Un­em­ploy­ment de­creased by 330 000.

The ab­sorp­tion rate — which meas­ ures the pro­por­tion of the work­ing age (15­64) pop­u­la­tion cur­rently em­ployed — was 43,1%; the 2030 tar­get is 61%.

The labour force par­tic­i­pa­tion rate, which mea­sures the work­ing age pop­u­la­tion ac­tively en­gaged in labour by be­ing em­ployed or avail­able to work, was 58,8%; the 2030 tar­get is 65%.

For­mal sec­tor em­ploy­ment for the quar­ter de­clined by 135 000, and in­for­mal sec­tor em­ploy­ment in­creased by 119 000 com­pared to the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate of women (29%) re­mains higher than that of men (24,8%).

Women are also less likely to par­tic­i­pate in the labour mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. Black women re­main the most vul­ner­a­ble, with an un­em­ploy­ment rate over 30%.

Stats SA also showed that un­em­ploy­ment is higher for those with lower ed­u­ca­tion lev­els.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate for those with less than ma­tric is 31,2%, com­pared to grad­u­ates, which is at 6,6%.

“You see ed­u­ca­tion play­ing a crit­i­cal role in the labour mar­kets,” said Maluleke.

Of the 10,3 mil­lion peo­ple in the age cat­e­gory 15­24 years of age, 29,7% were not in em­ploy­ment, ed­u­ca­tion or train­ing.

“Young peo­ple aged 15­24 re­main vul­ner­a­ble in the labour mar­ket with the un­em­ploy­ment rate of over 52% and ab­sorp­tion rate of al­most 13%,” ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate of those aged 25­34 (33,4%) is dou­ble that of 45­54 year olds (15,6%).

“The ab­sorp­tion rate for peo­ple aged 25­34 years old is over 13 per­cent­age points lower than that of peo­ple aged 45­54 years old,” the re­port read.

Ser­vices, trade and fi­nance re­main the main con­trib­u­tors to em­ploy­ment and GDP for the quar­ter.

How­ever, em­ploy­ment in the fi­nance in­dus­try de­creased by 91 000 for the quar­ter.

There were also de­clines in the min­ing in­dus­try (35 000), trade (45 000) and pri­vate house­holds (43 000).

There were gains in the so­cial ser­vices in­dus­try (75 000), man­u­fac­tur­ing (42 000), agri­cul­ture (39 000) and con­struc­tion (26 000).

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