Concerns about South Africa’s “real” unemployment rate

Statistics South Africa aims to improve its collection methods and collection of responses in the future after analysts raised concerns about the country’s unemployment rate.

Speaking with eNCA, the director of labor of the statistician Malerato Mosiane said the group would not review its latest unemployment data and would not publish the data if it felt uncomfortable with the figures.

However, he noted that the processes could be improved and that the response rate should increase in the future, which will improve the quality of the statistics.

Mosiane’s comments come after Statistical Council Chief David Everatt raised concerns that the poor response rate to the Quarterly Labor Force Survey (QLFS) could indicate incorrect statistics.

Of the 30,000 households surveyed in the QLFS, the latest response rate hit an all-time low with only 44.6% of households answering the questions. The response rate was 17.9% in areas such as Johannesburg.

Everatt noted that the low response rate was mainly due to the replacement of face-to-face interviews with telephone interviews due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is also growing evidence of a lack of trust between government and citizens, which made it clear to field workers that they did not want to speak to Statistics South Africa staff, he said. News 24.

TIPS research group senior economist Neva Makgetla said the unemployment figures may ultimately be worse than reported. She added that the numbers coming out of the QLFS have become “hard to believe” in light of her divergence from the other South African employment survey, the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES).

Data released by Statistics South Africa on March 29 shows that the country’s official unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage points to a record 35.3% in the fourth quarter of last year. However, the expanded definition of unemployment is currently at 46.2%.

Analysts predict the country’s unemployment rate is now nearing 40% as the country is unable to absorb younger workers into the workforce.

Professional services firm PwC expects the tightly defined unemployment rate to rise to 39.3% by 2030 from 35.3% at the end of last year.

“Under this baseline scenario, South Africa is likely to remain in the worst position globally in both the total and youth unemployment rate tables for the foreseeable future.

“The solutions to the unemployment riddle in South Africa are not easy, but the time to act is now. We must choose the areas that will have the greatest impact on GDP and employment growth and where great change is possible without necessarily requiring large financial commitments. “

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