Drop in unemployment points to resilient economy – Maluleke

Despite a positive drop in the unemployment rate in the country, women and the youth continue to be vulnerable in the labour market.

This is according to statistician-general Risenga Maluleke, who was speaking to the media in Pretoria after the announcement of the 2023 second quarter unemployment figures on Tuesday.

Maluleke said the number of unemployed people stood at 7.921-million in the second quarter compared with 7.933-million in the first quarter of the year.

This means the unemployment rate has dropped by 0.3% to 32.6 % from 32.9.

“Women in general are vulnerable in the labour market and black women are more disadvantaged,” said Maluleke.

“This starts with education, because the girl child is denied opportunities for education more than their male counterparts.

“Educated women are 2-million short compared with their male counterparts. When it comes to unemployment, women are dominated.”

He said the numbers are slowly settling back to pre-Covid-19 employment figures.

“Hope is slightly restored because most people felt that our economy was heading towards recession earlier in the year.

“However, with all the challenges that the country continues to face, like loadshedding, this goes to show that our economy is resilient,” he said.

Remarking on the vulnerability of women in the workplace, Dr Laura Fisher from Boston City Campus said the performance of women in the labour market is critically judged.

“To this day, we know that there still exists a massive pay gap between men and women, and there is a sense of women being incapable of being in certain fields,” said Fisher.

“These biases are unfounded and we have to challenge them.”

During the announcement of first quarter unemployment figures in May, the statistician-general said the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 209 000 to 13.2-million.

The number of discouraged work-seekers dropped by 87 000 in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2022, resulting in a net decrease of 296 000 in the not economically active population.


Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa.

Latest News