The heartbreaking way people are forced to look for work in South Africa

Data published by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) shows how the majority of South Africans look for opportunities of employment.

The stats body’s 2015 Labour Market Dynamics in South Africa report showed that while employment levels increased over the period 2009–2015 (from 14.2 million to 15.7 million), this rise did not keep pace with the increase in the working age population.

Since 2012, economic growth has slowed, declining from a high of 3.3% in 2011 to 1.3% in 2015.

Between 2009 and 2015, the number of the employed increased from 14.2 million to 15.7 million; when combined with an increase in the number of unemployed (941,000) , this resulted in an increase in the unemployment rate from 23.7% in 2009 to 25.3% in 2015, StatsSA said.

Read: These 4 graphs will change your thinking on employment in SA

In 2015, the absorption rate of 43.7% and the labour force participation rate of 58.5%
was the highest rates recorded since 2009.

Between 2009 and 2015, the South African working age population increased from 32.4 million to 36 million.

StatsSA noted that enquiring at workplaces or seeking assistance from relatives or friends were the most preferred methods for job search.

The use of all job search methods increased over the period 2009 to 2015, with the exception of those who enquired at workplaces and among those who waited at the street side for casual jobs.

Thanks to a rise in affordable smartphones and cheaper data costs, the largest increase was observed among those who searched through job adverts or the internet (11.3  percentage  points), followed by those who answered advertisements (7.8 percentage points).

Types of job search activities: 2009 and 2015

 Job search 2009 2015
Enquired at workplaces
57.2% 52.6%
Sought assistance from relatives/friends
39.5% 44.9%
Placed/answered advertisement 29.1% 36.9%
Searched through job adverts/internet
16.7% 27.9%
Waited/Registered at employment agency
6.6% 11.8%
Waited at the street side for casual jobs 6.7% 5.2%

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The heartbreaking way people are forced to look for work in South Africa