Home News Youth unemployment at 51, 4 percent in the Northern Cape

Youth unemployment at 51, 4 percent in the Northern Cape

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The MEC for the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Abraham Vosloo. Picture supplied

While the employment rate in the Northern Cape increased during the third quarter of 2021, youth unemployment rose to 51, 4 percent.

WHILE the employment rate in the Northern Cape increased during the third quarter of 2021, youth unemployment rose to 51,4 percent.

The MEC for the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Abraham Vosloo, stated that the high estimated unemployment rate for youths between the ages of 15-24 years suggested that the “province’s youth talent pool was underutilised.”

He added that according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the third quarter of 2021 the number of employed persons, in the Northern Cape province, increased by 18,836 from 256,000 to 275,000.

“This is in stark contrast to the country’s labour market performance, as the number of the employed declined by over 600,000, in the period of analysis where unemployment rate in the country was at its highest.”

He indicated that the South African unemployment rate during the third quarter was estimated to be 34, 9 percent.

“These changes resulted in the official unemployment rate increasing by 0,5 of a percentage point from 34,4 percent in the second quarter of 2021 to 34,9 percent in the third quarter of 2021 – the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008.”

Vosloo said the provincial unemployment rate had declined over the same period of analysis by 3.2 percent compared to the second quarter of 2021 where it was estimated to be 28,1 percent.

“The provincial unemployment rate for the third quarter is estimated at 24, 9 percent according to StatsSA. Importantly, the unemployment numbers declined by 9 ,95 to around 91,000 in contrast to over 100,000 unemployed during the second quarter. The province should be cautiously optimistic about the low official unemployment rate, as the expanded unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment still hovers around 49,1 percent in third quarter 2021. It should however be noted that the expanded unemployment rate also declined by around 1.2 percent in the second quarter.”

Vosloo stated that the labour absorption rate increased by 2.2 percent on a quarter on quarter basis.

“Despite the increased labour absorption appetite there was an increase in the number of discouraged work-seekers by 11,609 (up by 9, 3 percent) for the period of analysis.

“Year-on-year the discouraged work-seekers increased by a staggering 45,331.”

He added that 72 percent of workers in the province were formally employed.

“For the period of review the formal employment sector employment increased by over 9,500 employment entrants. Followed by private households, which recorded increases of over 6,300, in its employment cohort.”

He said private households showed the highest employment increase, with an estimated 6,353 or 35, 5 percent employment growth, quarter-on quarter.

“This sector is followed by the trade and finance sectors, with 5,907 and 5,760 respectively. “The trade sector is the second biggest employment sector in the province, with an estimated employment contribution of around 16, 8 percent (or 46,244 of total employment).”

Vosloo added that the government services sector remained the biggest employer in the province, with an estimated 102,000 employees accounting for 38 percent of the employed population.

“The construction sector saw a decline in its employment cohort, declining by 9,086, on a quarter-on-quarter basis.”

Vosloo stated that the provincial interventions to address unemployment and economic growth and the impact of Covid-19 resulted in the creation of 32,300 job opportunities through expanded public works programmes, community works programmes and the Presidential Employment Scheme through the appointment of teacher assistants.

“The impact of these interventions through the creation of temporary jobs are visible. The province will continue to implement these programmes as a means of short term job creation interventions.”

He stated that the province had entered into partnership with the National Empowerment Fund to assist black owned small medium and micro-enterprises in the Northern Cape.

“One third of funding to enterprises will be made available as a grant fund while the other two thirds will be given out as a loan with low interest rates. To date R75 million has been made available through this fund and approximately 56 applications have been submitted across the province. We would like to encourage our enterprises to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Vosloo added that government would prioritise local businesses and ensure that payments owed to them were processed within 30 days.

“The province will continue to drive artisanal skills development initiatives through the Phakamile Mabija project and other initiatives.

“The Northern Cape Economic Development, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Nceda) will run skills development initiatives in partnership with the Department of Small Business Development.

“We would also like to encourage young people to take advantage of the diamond cutting and jewellery manufacturing training initiatives through the Kimberley International Diamond and Jewellery Academy. New recruitments are expected in the next financial year.”

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