1.4 million fewer SAfricans were employed this year, says Stats SA

This was revealed in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey Results for the first quarter of 2021 on Tuesday.

FILE: The number of unemployed persons is now 7.2 million and the number increases to 11.4 million when using the expanded definition. Picture: © 1971yes/123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Stats SA said there were 1.4 million fewer employed South Africans as compared to a year ago as the country’s unemployment rate climbed to 32.6%.

This was revealed in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey Results for the first quarter of 2021 on Tuesday.

Although Stats SA warned against comparing the first quarter of 2021 results with previous ones due to changes in survey mode of collection, the data nonetheless pointed to an upward trend in unemployment figures.

The largest employment decreases between January and March this year were observed in private households at 70,000 people followed by 19,000 people in the informal sector.

The number of unemployed persons is now 7.2 million and the number increases to 11.4 million when using the expanded definition.

Meanwhile, the number of young people who were not in employment education and training increased by 1.9% during the first quarter representing 43.6% of 24.4 million youths.

AFRICAN WOMEN MOST VULNERABLE IN LABOUR MARKET

African women and young people remain the worst affected people by the country’s record-breaking unemployment.

The FLFS results show that young people aged 15 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years old recorded the highest unemployment rates at 63.3% and 41.3% respectively.

Statistician general Risenga Maluleke said: “The employed decreased by 28,000 people and the unemployed increased by 8,000 people and your discouraged work-seekers increased by about 201,000 people.”

African women are, however, the most vulnerable people in the labour market with an unemployment rate of 38.3% in the first quarter of the year.

The unemployment rate, including the expanded definition, has been increasing steadily over the past year consistently breaking records dating back 13 years ago when the survey commenced.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.