UASA Media Release: 15 August 2023
Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:
The official unemployment rate decreased by 0,3% from a record high of 32,9% in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 to 32,6% in the second quarter of 2023, as reported by Stats SA in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) earlier today.
While this is pleasing news, an unemployment rate of 32,6% in our current economic status is unacceptable as millions of citizens continue to slip into poverty.
Although the decrease points to some progress in economic activity, more must be done to lower the unemployment rate and build the economy.
The number of employed persons increased by 154 000 to 16,3 million in Q2 of 2023 compared to Q1 of 2023, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 11 000 to 7,9 million during the same quarter. The number of economically inactive people for reasons other than discouragement increased by 93 000 to 13,3 million.
The current unemployment rate is comparatively equal to that of June 2021, a time when the country and economy were direly affected by Covid-19. Two years later, the economy is still depreciating with little to account for growth and job creation.
The youth remain vulnerable in the labour market. Q2 of 2023 results show that the total number of unemployed youth (15-34 years) decreased by 131 000 to 4,7 million, while the number of employed youth increased by 105 000 to 5,7 million during the same period. This reduced the youth unemployment rate by 1,1 percentage points to 45,3% in Q2:2023.
Our country has been battling unemployment for some years with no hope for change. We cannot hide behind Covid-19, maladministration and various other challenges forever. A whopping 4,7 million young people are unemployed, desperately seeking employment.
We demand a solution to the joblessness that has left countless South Africans on the brink of poverty. Government must look at sustainable job creation methods suitable for the 4 th Industrial Revolution and technically equip jobless workers for the greater benefit of our future.
In the meantime, UASA encourages job seekers not to give up. Keep on trying, giving it your best until you land that job. Let’s all work together to bring solutions for our economy by creating opportunities for ourselves and others to follow.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.