Stats SA: Unemployment remains high

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Jobless1 . File photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Cape Town - Employed South Africans are highly likely to stay in their jobs, while the unemployed will find it increasingly hard to find work, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said on Wednesday.

“In South Africa 93 percent of those [employed], which will be in the region of about 13 million [people], remain in employment,” Lehohla said while releasing the latest labour market dynamics report.

The report draws on the comparison of results from the quarterly labour force surveys of the third and fourth quarters of last year.

While retention rates are considered to be high, the picture looks less rosy for the country's unemployed.

“If you look at those who are unemployed, which is about 4.7 million [people], only 13 percent find jobs,” Lehohla said.

The trends over the past few years suggested they could remain unemployed for an extended period of time.

“Those who are not employed, that's the three million who are not searching for work, four percent of those managed to get employment.”

Job seekers with experience were more likely to find work than their inexperienced counterparts.

“The facts suggest that experience counts. With experience you are three times more likely to find a job,” Lehohla said.

According to the press statement released during the briefing, domestic workers, clerks, sales and service workers were most likely to retain their jobs, while skilled agricultural workers were the least likely.

The unemployed and discouraged work seekers were more likely to be employed in the formal sector.

However, the informal sector remained a doorway to finding work in the formal sector.

Job retention rates across the country were higher in the formal sector.

“The highest formal sector retention rates were in the Western Cape, Free State, and Gauteng, while the highest informal sector retention rates were in the North West, Free State, and Limpopo,” the statement said.

From 2008 to last year employment increased from 14.6 million to 14.9 million.

However, over the same period, unemployment increased from 4.2 million to 4.9 million.

“This resulted in an increase in the unemployment rate from 22.5 percent in 2008 to 24.7 percent in 2013.”

The trends per industry over the six year period showed significant gains in employment in the community and social services sector where 575,000 people found jobs.

Job increases in the finance sector stood at 213,00, followed by transport with 91,000, and mining with 57,000.

“In comparison large employment losses were observed in manufacturing [281,000], trade [184,000], and agriculture [79,000],” the statement said.

Since 2008, unemployment among black Africans increased from 26.5 percent to 27.9 percent, but saw a decline since the 2010 high.

Unemployment among coloureds rose sharply from 18.8 percent in 2008 to 24.1 percent last year.

Just under seven percent of white South Africans were unemployed, up from 4.2 percent in 2008.

When compared to unemployment rates in other emerging market economies, South Africa still ranked number one. - Sapa


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