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Stats SABusinessLive reports that the latest quarterly employment statistics released by Stats SA, for the fourth quarter of 2023, were based on a new sample drawn last year.

According to employment data based on this new sample, employment increased at more than double the rate between early 2021 and 2023 than previously thought. Lisette IJssel de Schepper of the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) commented: “With the new sample, it seems that the post-Covid employment recovery was much stronger than initially thought. It seems like the level of formal non-agri employment was back at pre-pandemic levels in 2021 already, while the 2021 sample did not have it reach pre-pandemic levels at all.” The 2023 fourth-quarter employment statistics show formal employment dropped from 10.3-million just before the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 to about 9.6-million by mid-2020. According to the previous 2021 sample data, employment figures in the formal sector had still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels by September 2023. However, the new 2023 sample data showed formal employment rose above 10.3-million by mid-2022, reaching a high of 10.9-million in September last year before declining again slightly to 10.7-million by December. According to the previous sample, formal employment grew by only about 3.8% in 2021-23. However, the 2023 sample shows employment recovering by about 11% in 2021-23.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Denene Erasmus at BusinessLive

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