Stats SA released the quarterly labour force survey for the first quarter of 2022 on Tuesday. South Africa’s unemployment rate decreased as 370,000 jobs were gained.
The community and social services sector recorded the biggest increase in job gains (approximately 281,000), followed by manufacturing with 263,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, job losses recorded in private households (186,000), were from finance (72,000), construction (60,000) and agriculture (23,000).
Unemployment rate in South Africa
First quarter of 2022
As per Stats SA’s report, 14.9 million individuals were employed during the first quarter of 2022 – an increase from the 14.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In addition, some 60,000 of South Africa’s 7.9 million unemployed citizens re-entered the workforce this quarter.
South Africa’s official unemployment rate thus decreased by 0.8 of a percentage point from 35.3% in 2021 to 34.5% in the first quarter of 2022.
Unemployment in 2021
Black South African women and youth were most affected by unemployment during 2021’s fourth quarter – as per the report released on 29 March 2022.
South Africa soared past the 35% threshold after with a 0.4% percentage point increase from the previous quarter, while unemployed persons total 7.9 million.
Unemployment among Black African women skyrocketed to 42,4% during Q4 – approximately 4.2 percentage points higher than the national average.
Social inequality in 2022
Meanwhile, a PwC report on South Africa’s economic outlook in light of rising inflation rates highlighted the hopelessness felt by millions of job seekers in South Africa.
Approximately 73% of CEOs said they were “very or extremely concerned” about social inequality negatively impacting their companies during 2022.
In addition to the above, a survey released earlier this week predicted mass resignations as workers demand bigger salaries from employers.
Better pay and control
Approximately 35% of the workforce is planning to ask for a salary raise or accept better opportunities elsewhere, PWC Global Workforce said in March.
Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of PwC, said a large portion of the workforce wanted more control over how they work. Moritz explained:
“There is a tremendous need for business to do more to improve the skills of workers while being conscious of the risk of polarisation if opportunities to develop aren’t provided right across society.