Stats SA: Employment up

By Drum Digital
11 February 2014

The employment picture in South Africa has improved, but unemployment remains a problem, Statistics SA said on Tuesday.

"Jobs increased by 653,000 which is the largest year-on-year gain since the recession," Statistician General Pali Lehohla said.

"However, that doesn't mean that unemployment is solved. There is still a huge problem of unemployment."

Lehohla said year-on-year employment increased by 653,000 from the fourth quarter in 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013.

This was largely as a result of an employment increase of 507,000 in the formal sector. Employment in the informal sector increased by 95,000 jobs in the same period.

Employment increased by 141,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the third quarter.

Lehohla said there were an extra 123,000 jobs in the informal sector and 64,000 jobs in the formal sector which contributed to the overall increase. However, the agricultural and private households industries shed 27,000 and 20,000 jobs respectively.

Speaking in Pretoria at the release of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), Lehohla said the number of unemployed people decreased by 50,000 between the third and fourth quarters of 2013.

The decrease in the number of unemployed people meant the unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percent to 24.1 percent, he said. The absorption rate increased by 0.2 to 43.4 percent.

The QLFS is a household-based survey conducted by Stats SA. It collects data on the labour market activities of the population aged 15 and above.

Between the fourth quarter in 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2013, employment increased in all nine provinces, with the largest increase in the Western Cape.

"The labour markets in the Western Cape might be working much better, maybe they do not have a lot of discouragement," he said.

Gauteng was still the province with the most unemployed, 1.6 million people, he said.

The highest employment increases quarter-to-quarter were in the community and social services, construction, and trade industries. - Sapa

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