Stats SA has published its latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QFLS) for the first quarter of  2021, showing South Africa’s unemployment rate which rose to a new record high of 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021 from 32.5% in the final quarter of 2020.


The rate was the highest since the quarterly labour force survey began in 2008.


The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 201,000 (6.9%), and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 38,000 (0.3%) between the two quarters, resulting in a net increase of 164,000 in the not economically active population.


Africa’s most industrialised economy has long suffered from extremely high levels of unemployment, trapping millions in poverty and contributing to stark inequalities that persist nearly three decades after the end of apartheid in 1994.


The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated South Africa’s labour market woes. The economy was in recession before the country recorded its first coronavirus infection in March last year.


Statistics South Africa said job losses in the first quarter were recorded mostly in construction, followed by trade, private households, transport and agriculture sectors.


The Non-profit sector is currently not recognized as a key player in providing jobs for South Africans but plays a major role. The sector not only employs people with qualifications but takes in those without qualifications and previous work experience to train them, it provides citizens with a platform to learn and just like our main job creating sectors contributes to reducing the unemployment rate. The sector contributes by also encouraging young people and bringing hope to them.


The sooner the non-profit sector’s impact in combating unemployment is realized the sooner South Africa can see reduced rates. Realising the impact will mean making funds available for non-profit organisations in order for them to impact lives.


Picture Courtesy: News24-Gallo Images/DinoLloyd

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