The Quarterly Labour Force Survey published by Statistics South Africa on 29 September stated that the working-age population increased by 147 000 or 0.4% in the second quarter. The number of employed persons decrease with 2.2 million to 14 1 million from first quarter to the second quarter of 2020. One might expect that unemployment will increase; in fact, it declines by 2,8 million to 4,3 million compared to first quarter. In spite of the decline in employment, the number of discouraged work-seekers, like the number of unemployed, decreased by 447 000, and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement increased by 5,6 million between the first quarter and second quarter, resulting in a net increase of 5,2 million in the not economically active population.
Between the first quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2020, the number of employed people decreased in all ten industries, with the largest decline recorded in Community and social services (515 000), followed by Trade (373 000), Private households (311 000), Finance (283 000), Construction (278 000) and Manufacturing (250 000). Agriculture declined by 66 000 compared in the previous quarter.
The agricultural sectors’ employment varies across provinces and based on different agricultural activities per province. The largest –quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) employment increases were recorded in the Mpumalanga which stood at 22%, followed by the Limpopo (16%) and the Gauteng (2%).
Western Cape and Northern Cape recorded declines of 58% and 17%, respectively.