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Agriculture light in unemploymentdarkness

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Source: Agri SA media release, 26 August 2021, photo credit: Masters Development Visions

The latest Statistics SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS)indicatesthat the number of employed persons decreased by 54 000 in the second quarter of 2021 to 14,9 million. The number of unemployed persons increased by 584 000 to 7,8 million,compared to the first quarter of 2021.

These changes resulted in the official unemployment rate increasing from 32,6% in the first quarter of 2021 to 34,4% in the second quarter of 2021 -the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008. The unemployment rate, according to the expanded definition of unemployment, increased by 1,2 percentage points to 44,4% in quarter 2:2021 compared to quarter 1:2021.

South Africa’s unemploymentrate has been recorded as the highest compared to their African counterparts such as Namibia and Nigeria. The agricultural sector observed employment gains of 69000with provinces such as the Western Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and Limpopo recording an increase in employment. A decrease has been noted in the Eastern Cape by 19000, the Northern Cape by 9000, Gauteng by 8000 and Mpumalanga by 18000.

Most concerning is the sector continuing to see a decrease in skilled agriculture as it records alossin employment from 62000 in Q1:2021 to 45000 in Q2:2021. This is a 27,4% quarter to quarter decrease and a 33,2% year on year decrease.
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