South Africa records employment gains in Quarter 2

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

At least 150 000 more people were employed in South Africa during the second quarter of the year as compared to the first – resulting in a minor decrease in the unemployment rate by some 0.3%.

This is according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) today.

Furthermore, the number of unemployed people fell by at least 11 000.

“Additionally…the discouraged work seekers decreased by 94 000 in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2023 resulting in a net decrease of 1 000 in the not economically active population.

“The above changes in employment and unemployment resulted in the official unemployment rate decreasing by 0.3 of a percentage point from 32.9% in the first quarter of 2023 to 32.6% in the second quarter of 2023.

“The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition decreased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 42.1% in Q2:2023 compared to Q1:2023,” the institution said.

Employment in the formal sector increased by some 143 000 during the same period with informal sector employment decreasing by 33 000.

“Construction [104 000], trade [92 000], and community and social services [63 000] recorded the largest employment gains. While employment losses were recorded in manufacturing [96 000], finance [68 000], transport [7 000] and utilities [6 000],” Stats SA said.

Despite an increase in the number of youth employed during that period, the institution said youth remain “vulnerable” to unemployment.

“The youth remain vulnerable in the labour market, with the second quarter of 2023 results showing that the total number of unemployed youth [between 15 and 34 years old] decreased by 131 000 to 4.7 million while there was an increase of 105 000 in the number of employed youth to 5.7 million during the same period.

“This resulted in a decrease in youth unemployment rate by 1.1 percentage points to 45.3% in Q2:2023,” Stats SA said.

The institution highlighted the sectors where the most gains were made in the provinces.

“Limpopo [up by 80 000], Western Cape [up by 54 000] and KwaZulu-Natal [up by 48 000] recorded the largest employment increases in Q2:2023.

“Employment losses were recorded in Free State [down by 59 000] and Northern Cape [down by 17 000] during the same period,” Stats SA said. –