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Western Cape leads South Africa with lowest unemployment rate

The latest data from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unveiled by Statistics South Africa, highlights the Western Cape’s steadfast position with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, standing at 21.4% in the first quarter of 2024.

Moreover, the province has witnessed the creation of 82 000 job opportunities between the first quarters of 2023 and 2024.

Premier Winde optimistic as province’s unemployment rate drops by 0.2%

Premier Alan Winde expressed optimism regarding the province’s economic trajectory, emphasising the decrease in the official unemployment rate by 0.2% compared to the previous year.

“While there is much more work to be done to get many more residents into jobs, we are making progress,” Premier Winde remarked, underscoring the significant increase of 3.1% in employment rate figures over the past year.

The QLFS report underscores the Western Cape’s continued dominance in key employment metrics, boasting the lowest unemployment rate at 21.4%, the lowest expanded unemployment rate at 26.1%, the highest labour absorption rate at 55.4%, and the highest Labour Force Participation Rate at 69.2% in the nation.

Premier Winde attributed these achievements to concerted efforts across various sectors, facilitated by initiatives such as the Western Cape Government’s Growth for Jobs strategy, SMME Booster Fund, and Alternative Energy Support Programme.

He stressed the importance of enabling and empowering businesses to harness their full potential for job creation to improve the unemployment rate.

Minister Wenger highlights Western Cape’s economic strength and job growth policies

Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, echoed Premier Winde’s sentiments, citing the Western Cape’s favorable business environment and robust economic policies as drivers of job growth.

However, Minister Wenger raised concerns about national government failures impacting economic growth and job creation, particularly in sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and community services.

“But national government failures continue to compromise economic growth and job creation across the country. We have seen decreases in employment (rate) in the agriculture, manufacturing and community and social services sector,” he said.

Economic hurdles: Port delays, visa backlogs, and load shedding stall progress

Minister Wenger identified challenges such as inefficiencies at the Port of Cape Town, visa processing delays, and the adverse effects of load shedding as hindrances to economic progress.

Despite these challenges, she highlighted positive trends in sectors like construction, finance, and private household services, indicating confidence in the provincial economy.

Minister Wenger affirmed the Western Cape’s commitment to supporting the private sector amidst external challenges, emphasising the importance of determined action to mitigate the impacts of load shedding and logistical disruptions. The province remains steadfast in its pursuit of sustainable economic growth and job creation, driven by innovative policies and maintaining the lowest unemployment rate.

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