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SA's unemployment stats could be wrong

In Joburg South, people looking for casual work wait for passing drivers to offer them jobs.

Gallo Images/Siphiwe Sibeko

The head of Statistics SA's advisory board, the Statistics Council, has raised the alarm about the quality of SA's employment statistics, saying that the low response rate must be fixed if the numbers are to mean anything.

The last Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), which was done in the fourth quarter of last year, showed that 35.3% of adults were unemployed, using a narrow definition. Since the survey began in 2008, this is the highest number ever. Several economists have questioned the numbers and said that the survey doesn't give an accurate picture of the country.

With only 44.6 percent of the 30 000 households in the sample taking the survey, the response rate hit a record low. In Gauteng, only 23 percent of people who were asked answered, and only 17.9 percent of people in the city of Johannesburg answered. The response rate caused the results to be released later than planned, and some results, like those for the metros, were not released at all.


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Gallo Joburg South Quarterly Labour Force Survey Statistics Council Statistics SA


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