Economic recovery plan key to reducing unemployment

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Successfully tackling high levels of unemployment, particularly among young people, will rely on the effective implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan, the National Treasury said on Thursday.

“Although post-pandemic economic activity is showing signs of recovery, the formal labour market is not. Resurgent COVID-19 infections and resulting lockdown restrictions during the first half of 2021 disrupted the recovery in labour demand.”

The total number of employed people decreased for two consecutive quarters over the period. By June 2021, the total number of jobs – 14.9 million – remained 1.5 million below pre-pandemic levels.

“Official data and the National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey show divergences in the employment recovery by age, education, gender and race – with black women in particular bearing the brunt of job losses.

“The fiscal relief package announced in response to COVID-19 and the presidential employment initiative have helped to offset job losses.

“Sustainable reductions in unemployment will require the effective implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan to crowd in investment and support job creation by the private sector.”

The official unemployment rate rose to 34.4 %, the highest recorded since publication of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey began in 2008.

During the second quarter of 2021, the number of private-sector jobs reached a post-2005 low.

“Public-sector employment gains appear to be driving a partial recovery in jobs, consisting largely of temporary work and training opportunities created through public employment programmes, the National Treasury said. –