STATS SA: Free State unemployment remains highest in SA

Roy Jankielsohn MPL

Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Provincial Legislature

The Free State retains its top spot on the unemployment index as figures released by STATS SA today show.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey the official unemployment rate in the Free State went up from 34.7% to 35%. Unemployment according to the expanded definition dropped marginally from 41.5% to 41.2%. According to the expanded definition, out of a total working population of 1 855 million people, approximately 523 000 people can’t find jobs.

There is an encouraging show of marginal employment growth during the second quarter. The province did manage to create 22 000 jobs, mostly in the agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and trade sectors, but this growth was not sufficient to lower the overall unemployment rate.

The DA calls again on the Free State provincial government to adopt a ‘Free State First’ policy to assist Free State companies in becoming successful and profitable so that more jobs can be created.

The province’s current economic outlook is reason for concern as a deteriorating infrastructure and the ability of Free State municipalities to keep the lights on and the taps running will negatively affect economic growth and further exacerbate the terrible unemployment rate.