South Africa’s official unemployment rate has decreased by 0.3% to 32.6% in the second quarter of 2023, a seventh consecutive increase in employment since the fourth quarter of 2021.
Statistician-General of South Africa, Risenga Maluleke, made the announcement on Tuesday.
According to Statistics SA, the number of employed persons increased by 154 000 to 16.3 million between April and June this year.
This is while the number of unemployed persons decreased by 11 0000 to 7.9 million compared to the first quarter of the year.
The number of discouraged work-seekers dropped by 2.9% translating to 94 000 people, while the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement increased by 93 000.
The labour market in the country remains more favourable to men than women.
“The labour force participation rate for women stood at 54.3% compared with 64.9% for men, a gap of 10.6 percentage points. Only 54.3% of women of working age in South Africa participate in the labour force either as employed or looking for work.”
The data agency says women remain less likely to participate in the labour force compared to men.
“The female labour force participation rate has seen an increase over 10 years by 4 percentage points from 50.3% in Q2:2013 to 54.3% in Q2:2023.”
Young women aged between 15 and 24 recorded the lowest labour force participation rate at 27.2% between April and June this year.
Women aged 35-44 years recorded the highest labour force participation at 72.2%.
According to Stats SA, at a global level the unemployment rate for women remains higher than that of men and youth unemployment rates are much higher than adults.
“Gender disparities in the labour market still exist and the light shown by these labour market estimates echoes the need to accelerate the enhancement of women’s overall participation in employment, access to more opportunities across economic sectors and addressing job gaps that go beyond unemployment. Work is the most effective economic empowerment strategy for women.”
There’s been mixed reactions to the figures on social media.
[THREAD] Positive development: 135 000 more people employed. Unemployment rate down by 0.3%. Unemployment according to expanded definition at 42.1%. pic.twitter.com/XXUjMh2ryc
— ANC SECRETARY GENERAL | Cde Mbalula (@MbalulaFikile) August 15, 2023
It really doesn't make sense to actually be employing Zimbabweans in SA when we have an unemployment crises. It's not like we're short of skills.
— Modise M 🇿🇦 (@celeb_undercovr) August 15, 2023
Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza