South Africa's Unemployment Rate Increases to 32.9% in 1st Quarter, 16.2 Million Young People Jobless

South Africa's Unemployment Rate Increases to 32.9% in 1st Quarter, 16.2 Million Young People Jobless

  • Statistics SA has released the latest quarterly labour force survey, and the results look grim for citizens
  • The unemployment rate has gone up to 32.9% from 32.7% in the first quarter of 2023, with over 240 000 youths joining the unemployment
  • South Africans are unhappy with the unemployment rate and blame the national government

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JOHANNESBURG - Young people in South Africa continue to struggle to find jobs. The latest Statistic SA’s quarterly labour force survey indicates that the unemployment rate has increased by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2023.

Protesters display a jobseeking placard near the Seraleng mining community
Over 240 000 young people became unemployed in the first quarter of 2023. Images: Dino Lloyd & Darren Stewart
Source: Getty Images

This places the unemployment rate in the country at 32.9% from 32.7% in the last quarter of 2022.

Youth unemployment increases in South Africa

According to The Citizens, the number of unemployed youths (aged 13 to 34) increased by 241 000, meaning 4.9 million young people are currently jobless. On the flip side, 28 000 youths got jobs in the first quarter, bringing the number of young people with jobs to 5.6 million.

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Overall, the number of employed people increased by 258 000 to 16.2 million, and the total number of unemployed people in South Africa declined by 179 000 to 7.9 million.

Stats SA also indicated that the Black African population still has the highest unemployment across all demographics, with 37.2%.

According to IOL, the industry with the highest employment gains is finance, community and social services, and agriculture. In contrast, the private households, trade, mining, construction and manufacturing industries indicated job losses in the first quarter.

Loadshedding could be the reason behind the high unemployment rate

According to Reuters, with South Africa facing high levels of rolling blackouts, Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke stated that analysis needs to be conducted to determine whether loadshedding affects unemployment.

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Maluleke referred to the mining, manufacturing and construction industries that have shed jobs in the last quarter.

"When you look at areas like mining and manufacturing, they have lost employment, but it needs a further analysis," said Maluleke.

South Africans disheartened by the unemployment rate

@unpopularprawn said:

"But Ramaphosa just stated they created 8 million jobs. You must be wrong, or maybe the ANC is wrong."

@lunganizungu said:

"Ticking time bomb..."

@LaMawaZwide said:

"The unemployment rate of black Africans surpasses the whole unemployment % y’all are busy celebrating sushi king demolishing buildings "

@KhayaMakhubu said:

"This statistic needs context behind it. The unemployment rate rise is not because more people became unemployed. The opposite actually happened, and more discouraged workers returned to the workforce."

Township businesses forced to cut jobs due to loadshedding

Briefly News previously reported that loadshedding has had a devasting impact on township businesses and employment in South Africa.

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According to the Nedbank Insights Report, conducted with the Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA), 64% of small township businesses shut down during loadshedding, and nearly 66% of business owners have cut jobs due to rolling blackouts.

According to News24, businesses in the food and beverage sector cut jobs primarily because of the impact of rolling blackouts. The manufacturing industry also had to shed a significant number of jobs.

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Source: Briefly News

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