Stats SA released the quarterly labour force survey for Q2: 2018 yesterday (31 July 2018) and it did not look good. Following a 2.2% decline in GDP, the unemployment rate increased from 26.7% in Q1 to 27.2% in Q2. The number of discouraged work seekers increased by 77 000 and the number of other economically inactive persons increased by 65 000.
We have been experiencing slow economic growth in these past few months and so I did not exactly expect positive employment figures. However I still believe that not enough attention is being directed towards job creation. It is a crisis that affects everyone (even those who are employed) because there is a small portion of people who pay taxes (PAYE). So besides the obvious consequences of government generating less money from taxes, initiatives such as free education for all and the National Health Insurance (NHI) are less likely to succeed.
With that said, President Cyril Ramaphosa released a statement last night that was more about land expropriation than it was about unemployment (because unemployment is really not that important). I don’t understand why he couldn’t wait until this morning but nevertheless watch Ramaphosa below as he talks about the development and implementation of a “stimulus package to ignite growth that will lead to the creation of jobs, especially for young people and women”.