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Increasing number of South Africans seeking a job as unemployment rates skyrocket

According to the latest statistics, the unemployment rate in South Africa is once again on the rise, although not as high as the record set back in 2003 which was a disturbing 31.20%. That was almost one third of the nation being jobless and although there are still at least 27.1% jobless as of the third quarter of last year, there is hope as the number of those gaining employment is growing at a faster rate than the unemployment figures. Much of this is due to freelance workers such as writers working in various segments of the industry. In reading information included in Uvocorp Reviews, companies like this employ writers who speak English as a first or second language and have a background in any field of academics. A large part of job growth is due to freelancing and e-commerce.

From 2003 to 2008

While the rest of the world didn’t realise a recession until 2008, South Africa was hit hard just five years prior to the rest of the globe. In 2003 the economy was bottoming out and commerce in the nation was dwindling. At that time, as mentioned above, the jobless rate was at an alarming 31.20% which was an all-time high and when the rest of the world was panicking, South Africa’s jobless rate was on par, once again with the rest of the industrialised world.

Unemployment rate rises to the highest point in over a decade

As of the third quarter of 2016, the jobless rate in South Africa rose from 26.6% in Q2 of 2016 to 27.1% in Q3. Although that seems astoundingly high, there is some amount of hope if you read between the lines. Yes, the rate is up but so are the numbers of those employed. Per capita, it doesn’t look good but according to figures released on the Trading Economics website, the rate of those employed grew by more than 527,000 to a total estimated at 21.7 million.

The number of those persons listed as unemployed grew by 239,000 to that alarming figure of 5,873,000 without jobs. If you consider the fact that there are only 21.7 million with jobs as compared to almost six million without work, that figure is astoundingly high. This has forced many within the labour force to seek freelance work they can conduct online. Freelance writing is one of the easiest industries to break into and although some may not be skilled writers, some jobs don’t require an extremely high proficiency in technical writing. If grammar, punctuation and spelling are in order, it is easy to write guest blogs for a wide array of companies seeking only to market their brand through SEO strategies.

Industries affected within these statistics

While some industries saw a rise in numbers employed, others are seeing record losses of jobs. In construction, trade, transport, agriculture and utilities, the labour force grew. Unfortunately, in mining, manufacturing and private household jobs, a marked decrease was evidenced. Gains and losses looked like this:
  • Construction – gained 104,000 jobs
  • Trade – gained 61,000 jobs
  • Transport – gained 53,000 jobs
  • Agriculture gained 56,000 jobs
  • Utilities – gained 7,000 jobs
  • Mining – lost 9,000 jobs
  • Manufacturing – lost 28,000 jobs
  • Household trades – lost 15,000 jobs
When you stop to consider that the unemployment rate has grown to such highs, it is understandable that private household trade jobs would diminish.

Conclusion on unemployment vs employment rates

These figures are really just a brief summary of what is really going on in the economy of South Africa. Further statistics expand what is defined as "unemployed" to include those who have simply stopped looking for a job and so are not listed with any employment agencies, public or private. If you consider that rate, the unemployment rate saw a slight decrease down from 36.4% to 36.3%. That one-tenth of one percent is a very miniscule improvement, not enough to really be of any consideration.

Those seeking employment in their own industries may want to consider freelancing as a writer or technical advisor within their trades until the country begins its upwards trend from its current state of recession. There are a number of freelance jobs available and some bring in wages comparable, and maybe even higher, than unemployed workers were making within their profession. Whether looking for a permanent job, a change in career, or just a job to tide them over until the economy (which the BBC reports is in crisis) improves, freelancing is what stands between survival and poverty.

30 Jan 2017 16:16


About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as,,, Boris is the founder of and