South Africa is currently facing the of crisis of a high and rising youth unemployment rate caused by the strict national lockdown, which led to further economic pressure and massive job losses. According to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate rose to 30.1% in the first three months of 2020, has revealed. The results are contained in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) recently released by Stats SA.
The results revealed that in the quarter, employment decreased by 38,000 to 16.4 million.“The percentage of South Africans aged 15 – 64 years with jobs (the absorption rate) has declined by 0.3 of a percentage point to 42.1%, and the labour force participation rate increased by 0.5 of a percentage point to 60.3% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019,” said Stats SA.
The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 63,000 and those who were not active in the labour market for other reasons other than discouragement decreased by 222,000, resulting in a net increase of 107,000 in the number of those who were not economically active.”This is the first time ever that we have hit the 30 per cent mark,” said Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke.
The statistical agency confirmed that most industries experienced job losses in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. During this period, finance shed the most jobs (50,000), followed by the community and social services (33,000), agriculture (21,000), transport (17,000), manufacturing (15,000), construction (7,000) and utilities (4,000) industries.