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Cape Town’s unemployment figure down 4 percentage points year-on-year

An unemployed man looks for work at a traffic light intersection in Cape Town with a sign saying painting, gardening and paving.

An unemployed man holds a self-made advertising board offering his services at a traffic intersection in Cape Town. Picture: Nic Bothma EPA

Published May 16, 2023


Cape Town - Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said the City was encouraged by unemployment in Cape Town declining by four percentage points year-on-year.

The latest Statistics SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for January to March 2023 showed Cape Town’s unemployment rate was 26% based on the expanded unemployment definition.

This was 0.9 percentage points lower than the previous quarter, and four percentage points lower compared with Q1 2022.

The City noted that it was the fourth consecutive quarter of positive employment growth for Cape Town.

“Our mission is to position Cape Town as a beacon of hope to show what is possible in South Africa. Decline is not inevitable, it can be halted and turned around. While too many people remain without jobs, we are encouraged by the drop in unemployment despite the record levels of load shedding impacting our economy,” said Hill-Lewis.

In the first three months of 2023, there were 1.7 million people employed in Cape Town.

The City said this took employment levels beyond the pre-Covid mark, and was the highest recording of employment in Cape Town to date since the implementation of the QLFS report in 2008.

Mayco member for economic growth, James Vos, said his team worked closely with critical job-creating industries.

“From call centres to craft and design, technology and green energy, boat building and tourism, to clothing manufacturing and property development, we work closely with these business partners to build their skilled workforces and secure investments from domestic and global corporations. For example, the Investment Facilitation Branch has secured new investments into Cape Town worth over R34 billion and thousands of jobs since its establishment in 2017. Through our small business support measures, we have also helped entrepreneurs across the city to access the resources they need to survive and thrive. Cape Town is building towards our vision of being a city of hope for all in a country that is facing harsh economic realities.”

Cape Times