Attention broadcasters: English audio clip from MPP Cayla Murray attached.
I welcome the release of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey today, which demonstrates that the Western Cape’s expanded unemployment figure, which stands at 29.5%, is 13.6% lower than the national average which stands at 43.1%. The Western Cape has further seen a welcomed quarter-on-quarter decline in unemployment.
The expanded unemployment figure takes into account not only active job seekers but also those who are discouraged from seeking work opportunities. While there is certainly more that needs to be done to combat unemployment in our province – the expanded unemployment rate shows that the Western Cape is creating more work opportunities.
If we look at the official unemployment rate, which considers only those individuals actively looking for work, the Western Cape, once again, has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 24.5%, which is 8.4% less than the national rate. The province recorded a further 3% decline in unemployment during this period.
The industries in the Western Cape which saw the biggest increases in employment included:
• Manufacturing with over 44 000 jobs created;
• Construction with over 35 000 jobs created
• Transport with over 32 000 jobs created; and
• Agriculture with over 16 000 jobs created.
The efforts of the Provincial Government including the red tape reduction, preferential procurement and SMME support have all contributed to this decline. These successes have kept our local economy afloat, despite small businesses and entrepreneurs being hamstrung by loadshedding.
The DA-led Western Cape Government has prioritised job creation by creating an enabling environment for businesses to flourish, and it is good to see this hard work paying off. This was reaffirmed by the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger when tabling the Medium-term Budget Policy Statement last week.