- The Democratic Alliance (DA) claimed on Twitter that the Western Cape was responsible for 75% of all new jobs created in South Africa last year
- The claim has been verified by fact-checking group Africa Check
- The numbers are based on net jobs which are calculated by subtracting job losses from job gains and can lead to confusing percentages
South Africa’s official opposition party and current leaders of the Western Cape provincial government the Democratic Alliance (DA) claimed via its official Twitter page that the Western Cape was responsible for creating 75% of all new jobs in South Africa in the past year.
Overall there were 165 000 more jobs created in the country during the first quarter of 2018 than in the first quarter of 2017. 123 000 of those jobs were created in the Western Cape.
The DA’s bold claim has been verified by fact-checking group Africa Check. The group noted that the claim was based on data obtained from Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) Quarterly Labour Force Survey for January to March 2018.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the DA’s claim is based on net job gains which are the number of job gains minus the job losses. Experts have warned that while numbers based on net job gains were factually correct it could lead to confusing percentages.
This means that while the claim that the DA’s 75% figure is correct, it does not mean the rest of South Africa only contributed 25% of job growth.
Thesouthafrican.co.za reported that by using the same calculation used for the Western Cape, Limpopo can lay claim to having created 50.3% of jobs and KwaZulu-Natal another 37%.
According to Stats SA, this means the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo accounted for a very confusing 162% of net job creation in South Africa. The positive growth in these provinces is offset by negative numbers coming out of other provinces.
Gauteng was the worst performing province with a number of -75%, Mpumalanga came in with -12% and the Eastern Cape at -27%.
Stats SA notes when all the positive and negative percentage points from all nine provinces are added, the total number comes to 100%.
While job creation should be seen as a positive it is important to note that the numbers are not as rosy as they might first appear. The 165 000 jobs created is equal to a 1% gain in total employment in the country.
Similarly, unemployment decline by 3.8% during the same time period, the caveat being that the number of disheartened job seekers actually increased by 510 000 or 22.4% to 2.8 million people.
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