10.3m young people in SA not in employment, education, or training – Stats SA

The number of discouraged work-seekers in the country has increased by close to 500,000, while the total number of people who are not economically active for other reasons increased to 5.6 million between the first and second quarter of the year.

JOHANNESBURG – Stats SA on Tuesday said while the official unemployment rate decreased by 6.8 percentage points to 23.3% in the second quarter of the year, and the official unemployment rate decreased in all nine provinces, the expanded unemployment figures increased by 2.3% in the same period reaching a staggering 42%.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey showed that the shift reflected that people were available for work, but did not actively look for employment.

Meanwhile, even more concerning was that there were now 10.3 million young people – aged between 15 and 24 – who were not in employment, education, or training – a representation of 44.7%.

The number of discouraged work-seekers in the country increased by close to 500,000, while the total number of people who are not economically active for other reasons increased to 5.6 million between the first and second quarter of the year, bringing the number to 20.6 million people.

The massive job losses were expected by economists who projected a modest one million. However, the Quarterly Labour Force Survey showed that instead 2.2 million jobs were lost in the second quarter.

“When we asked the people why are they not looking for employment, the one reason, either than not economically active, they indicated that it’s because of COVID-19 and the lockdown environment,” said Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke.

The largest employment decreases were observed in the formal sector where 1.2 million jobs were shaved off, followed by the informal sector at 640,000.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey is comprised of data collected from approximately 30,000 households, while the Quarterly Employment Statistics is an enterprise-based survey that collects information from employers with a 20,000-sample unit.

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