The decrease in the number of the unemployed to 23.3% in the second quarter of the year from 30.1% in the first quarter seems like excellent news at first glance, even against the background of the tragic second quarter’s 2.2 million job losses, as announced by Statistics SA earlier today.
The sad truth is that it is not the economy that improved, but the numbers are simply a result of the national lockdown when people could not actively go out and look for work and were therefore classified as not economically active.
In other words, the unemployment figures are still far too high and will continue to rise unabatedly in the coming months and even years with what seems like little to no intervention from the government.
According to the 19th UASA South African Employment Report (SAER) earlier this year, more people are likely to die from the unemployment crisis than the Covid-19 pandemic in SA. Economist Mike Schussler, who presented the SAER, estimated between 1.3 – 3.3 million job losses across all sectors by March 2021.
UASA has repeatedly called on the government to act on the unemployment crisis since before the world was forced into lockdown by Covid-19 but we have seen very little to no returns from the various job summits that took place.
Our question is: Will government respond to today’s figures and the job crisis in general?
In the meantime, UASA encourages South Africans to continue to buy and use locally-made products and services to help our economy towards recovery and stabilise job losses.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Stanford Mazhindu at 074 978 3415.