Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

Unemployment rate: These industries recorded the highest job losses

Stats SA released the quarterly Labour Force Survey and it’s not looking good. Several industries recorded devastating unemployment figures.

unemployment rate these industries recorded the highest job losses - Unemployment rate: These industries recorded the highest job losses

The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of 2020 look bleak to say the least. The report indicated that the number of employed persons decreased by 2.2 million to 14.1 million compared to the first quarter of 2020. According to Stats SA, industries across the country suffered significant rates of unemployment. 

THESE INDUSTRIES RECORDED THE HIGHEST RATES OF UNEMPLOYMENT 

According to Stats SA, employment decreased in all sectors in quarter 2 2020. Formal sector employment decreased by 1.2 million (10.8%) and the Informal sector shed 640 000 (21.9%) jobs. 

The industries which recorded the highest job losses were;

  • Community and social services (515 000); 
  • Trade (373 000); 
  • Private households (311 000); 
  • Finance (283 000); 
  • Construction (278 000) and; 
  • Manufacturing (250 000).

The lowest unemployment declines were recorded for agriculture, mining and utilities. 

463a320b screenshot 2020 09 29 at 11.53.08 - Unemployment rate: These industries recorded the highest job losses

LARGEST QUARTER ONE TO QUARTER TWO DECLINE SINCE 2008 

It seems the release of a dismal GDP figure was not the only bad news awaiting South Africans. The unprecedented change in unemployment figures is, according to Stats SA, the largest quarter one to quarter two decline since the survey began in 2008. 

The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment increased by 2.3 percentage points to 42.0% in quarter 2 2020 compared to quarter 1 2020.

Contrary to what one might expect in the face of such a large decline in employment, unemployment declined substantially as well – decreasing by 2.8 million to 4.3 million compared to quarter 1 of 2020 and resulting in a decrease of 5.0 million (down by 21.4%) in the number of people in the labour force. 

OTHER KEY FINDINGS FROM UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT 

Other notable findings which stemmed from the report include; 

  • The Eastern Cape recorded the highest official and expanded unemployment rates; 
  • The formal sector in SA accounts for 71.1% of total employment;

  • Unemployment amongst the black African population remains higher than the national average and other population groups;
  • The unemployment rate for those aged 15-24 declined by 6.7 percentage points;
  • Black African women are the most vulnerable with an unemployment rate above 28.0%; 
  • Over 80% of employed people continued to receive their salaries during the lockdown. Of these, 21.1% had their salaries reduced; and
  • A total of 24.8% of those with less than matric had their salaries reduced. 

‘SOUTH AFRICANS PAY A HIGH PRICE FOR ANC’S BAD DECISIONS’ – DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA), in a statement on Tuesday, said the rise in unemployment is a classic case of the African National Congress (ANC) government’s “chickens coming home to roost”.

“A decade of economic policy incoherence and uncertainty, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the draconian lockdown that accompanied it, has exacted a heavy toll on already struggling South Africans,” it said.

The blue party claimed that, in addition to bad policy choices, the ANC has been working tirelessly to throttle public works programmes that have the potential to offer short-term employment relief.

“Recently, it was reported that the R19.5 billion that was set aside in the supplementary budget to create mass public employment jobs could now be at risk of being diverted towards bailing out SAA,” it said.

“That 3 million South Africans have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 does not bother the ANC; instead the ruling party is intent on driving them further into poverty and deprivation to fund a defunct airline which has already gobbled R57 billion in bailouts since 1994,” it added.

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