South Africa notes its first decline in unemployment

A streak of hope seems to be emerging in South Africa, on the employment front. For the first time in two years, official unemployment is slightly lower during the first quarter of 2022 compared with the previous quarter. While the country’s economy had been hit hard by the Covid pandemic, these latest figures are a step in the right direction for Cyril Ramaphosa’s government, but the situation is still far from good.

as reported from Johannesburg,Claire Bargeles

Unemployment is now at 34.5% according to the South African Institute of Statistics (StatsSA), a decrease of 0.8%. The first since July 2020. 370,000 jobs were created during the first quarter of the year, especially through government programs in the social and social services sectors. Industry and trade also contributed to this improvement.

However, this good news should be put into perspective, as the number of employed, almost 15 million workers, is lower than before the covid-19 pandemic. The country has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and with an expanded definition that takes into account those who have given up looking for work, this figure even rises to 45.5%, with assets for young people always remaining the most vulnerable .

Finally, the Institute of Statistics also indicates that these figures should be taken with caution, while the pandemic has disrupted its data collection.

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