The sad reality is that most people know someone, if not more than one person who is currently unemployed, especially in South Africa. And this is no longer limited to qualifications and years of experience, but graduates are now also experiencing difficulty in their job search.
The official unemployment rate in South Africa stands at 34.4% while the Western Cape retains its position in holding the lowest official unemployment rate in the country at 25.8% according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of 2021.
The survey also reveals that the province has the lowest expanded unemployment rate in the country at 29.1%, well ahead of other provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. These provinces recorded an expanded unemployment rate of 47.1% and 42.7% respectively.
According to the survey, the Western Cape has the highest labour absorption rate in the country at 63.1%. This means that as a percentage, more people in the Western Cape are employed than anywhere else in the country.
“Quarter on quarter, the Western Cape has recorded the lowest number of discouraged work seekers, now standing at 62 000 residents. In the last quarter, this figure stood at 97,000 residents – this tells us that efforts by both government and the private sector to create an active economic environment are working, even in the midst of this pandemic,” MPP, Ricardo Mackenzie said.
Mackenzie goes on to say that provincial government is doing all that it can to support the lives and livelihoods of residents, citing an example from Wesgro, where a record-breaking R5 billion investment was secured between April and June this year. This is estimated to create 4 000 new direct jobs and has a further 22 projects in the pipeline which span various sectors.
“A job and access to economic opportunity is a lifeline and key for a stable, secure future for a family and our communities. It is crucial that all provincial governments are working to ensure that they are creating the economic environment needed to see livelihoods protected, especially in these difficult economic times,” Mackenzie concludes.