The Western Cape now has the lowest expanded unemployment rate in all of South Africa.


Western Cape, South Africa (2 June 2021) – The Quarter Labour Force Survey (QLFS) again revealed that the Western Cape holds the lowest expanded unemployment rate in the country at 27.9%.

The second top performer lags far behind this province, with Gauteng’s expanded unemployment at an agitated level of 41.6%, with the worst performer, the Eastern Cape, at almost 50% unemployment.

Despite a marginal increase of 1.2% in the expanded unemployment rate, the Western Cape’s general economic contraction (7.7%) was lower than the national average (8.5%).

The QLFS shows once more that despite an incredibly challenging macroeconomic environment, the Western Cape remains South Africa’s business-friendly province of choice.

This is evident in that 10.9% of the workforce, or 184 000 residents, worked from home in the last quarter in the Western Cape – the largest percentage in the country.

“In the past year, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdowns have led to one of the worst economic downturns in recent years and economies are slowly recovery from its effects. The Western Cape Government launched several programmes and funding opportunities since April 2020 which has worked to protect jobs and SMMEs, supported the tourism industry and assisted businesses in reopening safely under restrictions,” DA MPP Deidré Baartman said in a statement. 

“Despite these efforts, systemic issues such poor infrastructure, a failing national transport system – particularly rail – and load shedding are obstacles that hinder the growth and recovery of the Western Cape economy.”

In order to turn the tide, policy and legislative changes which stimulate value-adding, export-led growth sectors are urgently needed. This will see not only the recovery of the economy but also the creation of thousands of jobs.

“That is why we call on national government to deliver on its promises, such as the President’s commitment to unlock R1 trillion worth of investment in infrastructure which stands to create jobs and a business and investor friendly environment that we desperately need,” Baartman concluded.

One encouraging trend is that the Western Cape has the highest number of residents, 10.9% of the province’s 2.3 million workforce, currently working from home.

Sources: Supplied | Press Release
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