Western Cape shows highest job gains in South Africa in latest employment data
Statistics South Africa jobs data for the last quarter of 2017, released today, shows that the Western Cape created the most jobs last quarter of any province, at 92 000 jobs created. We also recorded the highest year-on-year increase in the number of jobs created, with 106 000 jobs added.
The province has also once again recorded the lowest official unemployment rate, which now stands at 19.5%, against a national unemployment rate of 26.7%.
This represents a 2.4 percentage point decrease in unemployment in the province from the previous quarter.
Among the key performing sectors in the quarter were finance, which saw quarterly growth of 8.3%, representing an addition of 35 000 jobs, and community and social services which recorded double digit growth of 10.2%.
While jobs in the agriculture sector in the province also saw quarter-on-quarter growth, this is largely due to the commencement of the harvest season. The province saw a quarterly increase in agriculture jobs of 21%, equating to 34 000 jobs.
Looking at agriculture employment year-on-year, however, gives an indication of the impact of the drought on this sector, which has struggled to maintain and replant crops under severe restrictions. A year-on-year comparison of jobs in the sector shows a 23% decline in employment, representing 57 000 jobs.
We expect that this impact will worsen in the first half of this year, as a number of agricultural communities have now depleted their water allocations in entirety.
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, said: “We have seen good growth in employment in our province in the last quarter, with jobs being created in the agriculture space despite the drought. Our farmers managed to weather the worst of the drought last year, but are now faced with severe reductions. We are likely to see the full impact in the months to follow. The Western Cape Government, working with other government spheres, is doing its utmost to mitigate job losses in this sector.”
Winde continued: “These latest job gains represent our continued drive toward creating employment and growing the economy of our region, our number one strategic goal as a government.”
“When we started Project Khulisa, our employment creation initiative, we set ourselves a target of creating 260 000 jobs. Between December 2014 and December 2017, we have managed to created 322 000 jobs in the provincial economy,” he said.