Unemployment in FS escalating

2016-05-11 06:00

THE DA in the Free State lamented ongoing job losses in the province, resulting in an escalating unemployment rate.

Roy Jankielsohn of the DA in the Free State reacted with dismay to the Free State’s huge unemployment rate following Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released on Monday (09/05), revealing a bleak picture about the province’s potential employment.

According to Stats SA, the unemployment rate in the Free State grew by 3,5% to 33,9% Z the highest recorded rate out of all nine provinces.

Unemployment, according to the expanded definition (which includes discouraged job seekers), currently stands at 39,4%.

Pali Lehohla, statistician general of Stats SA, briefing the media about the country’s inability to create employment, said the South African government was not doing enough to address unemployment in the country.

“Government policy has not been successful in solving unemployment,” he said.

“If it has, we would have seen the demographic dividend,” he said.

“Government will have done enough when you see a change in the unemployment trend. There is no indication of a turning point and the current economic climate is not helping,” Lehohla said.

Jankielsohn reacted, saying: “The DA is saddened to learn that just over 12 000 more people in the Free State have joined the ranks of the unemployed.”

He blamed the increase in unemployment figures to the lack of commitment to create an environment that was conducive to investment in the province by the ANC-led government of Premier Ace Magashule.

“Unemployment is a disaster of magnificent proportions.

“Out of a working-age population of 1,872 million people in the Free State, only 790 000 have jobs. That leaves more than a million people economically inactive.

“The reality is that more than a million people struggle every day against great odds just to put food on the table,” said Jankielsohn.

Lehohla said South Africa needed to create jobs at a similar rate to which the labour force was growing, while the country generally needed a more skilled labour force.

South Africa’s official unemployment rate, for the first quarter of 2016, stood at 26,7%, representing a 2,2 percentage point increase compared to the last quarter of 2015.

This means that 5,7 million out of South Africa’s 36,4 million people of working age in the country were unemployed during the first four months of 2016.

Lehohla revealed that a total of 355 000 jobs were lost across the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

Employment in the manufacturing sector fell by 100 000, quarter on quarter, which was mainly driven by a decline in the manufacturing of structural metal products, furniture and the production of food.

The breakdown of the economically inactive population in the Free State is as follows:
) 405 000 people are officially unemployed;
) 681 000 people are not economically active in any way:
) 66 000 people have given up looking for employment altogether.

Out of a working-age population of 1,872 million people in the Free State, only 790 000 have jobs.

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