The unemployment rate has increased to a new record. In the fourth quarter of 2021, it rose to 35,3%.

Statistics South Africa has released the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS).  The survey confirms that the number of employed persons increased by 262 000 to 14,5 million. In the same time period, the number of unemployed persons also increased by 278 000 to 7,9 million compared to the 3rd quarter of 2021.

This is the highest quarterly rate since the start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008 – a new record for the unemployment rate.

In a summary of the key findings of the survey, Stats SA says: “These changes in the labour market resulted in the official unemployment rate increasing by 0,4 of a percentage point from 34,9% in the third quarter of 2021 to 35,3% in the fourth quarter of 2021 – the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008. The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment decreased by 0,4 of a percentage point to 46,2 % in quarter 4 2021 compared to quarter 3 2021.”

The number of discouraged work-seekers decreased by 56 000 (1,4%) and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 341 000 (2,4%) between the two quarters.

The Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities David Maynier says there is a slightly different economic picture in the Western Cape though. In a statement, Maynier says: “Too many people, especially young people, do not have jobs, or have given up looking for jobs, in the Western Cape. However, we welcome the fact that 37 000 more jobs have been created quarter-on-quarter and that we have the lowest expanded unemployment rate in the Western Cape.” He adds: “The Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the fourth quarter of 2021, released by Statistics South Africa today (29 March 2022), records employment growth of 37 000 quarter-on-quarter and records the lowest expanded unemployment rate of 30.4% in the Western Cape.”

 

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says one of his biggest priorities for 2022 is to create as many jobs for Capetonians as possible.

Hill-Lewis spoke to Smile 90.4FM this week and says the recent lifting of the UK’s Covid-19 travel ban came at just the right time for local businesses.

He says that although his first term as mayor started with great challenges, his administration is focused on growing and further improving the Mother City.

Follow Hill-Lewis’ latest tweets here.

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Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, says the Presidential Employment Stimulus initiative has, to date, benefited more than half-a-million South Africans.

The initiative was launched in 2020.

Ntshavheni, in a post-Parliamentary briefing said more than 532-thousand people received support through the initiative.

She says the PES also created more than 422-thousand jobs, across South Africa.

Read the statement here.

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What started as a small-scale garlic project in Murraysburg, is now playing a role in creating much-needed jobs in the Central Karoo town.

This follows the financial support of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.

Murraysburg Garlic (Pty) Ltd was the brainchild of the grandfather of brothers Craig and Ryan Newborn. He was determined to secure the future of employees who had been employed on the family farm for a long time.

The Department says following the repair of the town’s water infrastructure in 2017, the business was born. Garlic processing manager

MEC Ivan Meyer says the project has generated five permanent and 35 seasonal job opportunities.

The processing Manager is Martha Booysen, who highlights that several women are involved in the packaging of garlic bulbs.

“I have been with the project since the beginning. We are thrilled to be part of this project. We work hard, and we are proud of our achievements. Plans are going ahead to construct a fully equipped processing plant to expand operations. The intention is to grow the business and introduce more youth to the garlic industry.”

With the recent sharp increase of garlic prices the garlic industry is certainly a good place to be!