Interesting Employment Stats in South Africa

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Over the past 20 years from 1994 the unemployment rate had not changed much from 22% to 25% in 2014. We don’t really expect this to change much over the next 10 years and with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and there is a concern that this might get worse increasing up to 35%.

It’s been long since South Africa’s unemployment rate dropped, in the last quarter of 2017 it has done exactly that, dropping by 1% from 27,7% to 26.7% according to Stats SA. The expanded unemployment rate, which includes people who didn’t have jobs but, were not actively looking has also declined by 0.5% from 36.8 to 36.3%

We took time to research a bit about South Africa’s employment statistics and get a better understanding of what was, what is, and what might happen to the employment conditions in South Africa.

To start things, we looked at the different industries in the formal sector (non-agricultural) and the number of employees each sector has, and according to the graph below from Stats SA, Community Services take up most of the jobs in the country, this includes jobs like health care, government, education, etc. followed by Business Service and Trade industries.

Manufacturing comes in at 4th but what is interesting about manufacturing is that since 1994 the manufacturing sector has been on a constant decline, and this is something to be concerned about.

The recent quarterly publication of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), 4th Quarter 2017 by Stats SA, shows that the quarterly employment declined by 21 000 which were driven by these five of the ten industries.

  • Finance and other business services – 91 000
  • Trade – 45 000
  • Private households – 43 000
  • Mining – 35 000
  • Utilities industries – 4 000

The largest growth in employment were recorded in these sectors

  • Community and social services + 75 000
  • Manufacturing + 42 000
  • Agriculture + 39 000

Past and Interesting Stats

Over the past 20 years from 1994 the unemployment rate had not changed much from 22% to 25% in 2014. We don’t really expect this to change much over the next 10 years and with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and there is a concern that this might get worse increasing up to 35%.

The most interesting statistic we found on Stats SA’s website was found in this presentation: Employment, unemployment,

On Page 25, titled: Percentage of workers in each age group who are skilled (managers, professionals, technicians), we found the most bizarre and interesting statistic of all.

The table shows that from 1994 to 2014 other race and age groups’ have improved but, skilled black African aged 25-34 have decreased.

What Next?

Our new president Cyril Ramaphosa said that he will use the NDP as his blueprint for achieving his goal of delivering 3% GDP growth in 2018, rising to 5% by 2023.  We really hope this is achievable because this will eventually lead to more job creation in South Africa.

Yes, we have a new president, but does this mean that we fold our hands and wait for change? I say NO! It is time for us to take control of our source of income, our careers. Here are a few steps to help you to take control.

  • Learn Regularly – take up an extra class, read a book, learn a skill.
  • Brand Yourself – look after your image, and your portfolio or CV must always be ready and looking the part.
  • Get Attention – connect with people, share knowledge and experience.

It is companies like Elite CV that truly empower individuals by treating them like individual brands and equipping them with the right tools to tackle the marketplace.

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