Government welcomes the Quarterly Labour Force Survey results which show that despite an increase in the rate of unemployment, there was also an increase in the number of employed persons. The number of employed persons increased by 258 000 to 16,2 million in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. The increase in the first quarter of 2023 marks the sixth consecutive increase on quarterly basis, inching closer to pre-COVID levels when the number of employed people was 16,4 million.
Government also welcomes the decrease in the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement by 209 000. There was also a significant decrease in the number of discouraged work-seekers by 87 000 in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
Following the announcement, the Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said: “We are pleased to note that both the formal and informal sectors recorded increases in employment; this indicates that we are heading to the right direction even though a lot still needs to be done. Additionally, we cannot be blind to the fact that youth unemployment remains a challenge, however, we must also acknowledge the slight increase of 28 000 in the number of employed youth during the first quarter of the year. The increase in the number of employed persons gives us grounds for cautious hope.”
It is also noted that the Finance, Community and Social Services and Agriculture industries recorded the largest employment gains, while Gauteng, Limpopo, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape recorded the largest employment increases in the first quarter of 2023.
Government remains focused on far-reaching economic reforms and in creating conditions for the expansion of businesses throughout the country. In helping to draw more young people into the economy, government has under the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention initiated various youth development and empowerment initiatives to support young people. Government is also implementing a range of interventions, including structural reforms through Operation Vulindlela, to revive growth and support firms to create jobs.
Government remains committed to serve all the people of South Africa and to end the challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment. Working together, let us continue to move South Africa forward without leaving anyone behind.
Mr Michael Currin- Acting Government Spokesperson
Cell: 082 462 7896