westerncapeANA reports that Statistics SA’s quarterly labour force survey data for the fourth quarter of 2018, released on Tuesday, showed that the Western Cape created 29,000 new jobs over the past year and 26,000 between October and December last year.  

This represented a year-on-year increase in employment of 1.2% for the period in question.  The unemployment rate also declined in the province, and was now at 19.3%, leading to the province registering the lowest national expanded unemployment rate, which at 23.1%, was nearly 14 percentage points lower than the national rate of 37%.  The province’s economic opportunities MEC Beverley Schäfer observed:  “If we look at the complete picture, this data shows that there are fewer unemployed people in the province, and more opportunities for employment in the Western Cape.”  Key sectors contributing to the employment growth were agriculture, which saw an increase of 10.3% year-on-year, transport, which grew by 8.2% year-on-year and the finance sector, which recorded year-on-year gains of 2.1%.  The rural unemployment rate also saw a decline to 15.7%, a drop of 3.4% quarter-on-quarter.  The Western Cape now has the lowest rural unemployment rate in the country.

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