According to StatsSA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) the unemployment numbers are a real cause for concern. Although the number of employed persons increased by 333 000 in Q4 of 2020, the number of unemployed persons increased by 701 000 to 7.2 million people in the same period increasing the official unemployment rate to 32.5%. That is a staggering number and it has real implications for all us, but I believe there are reasons to be optimistic. Join me as I make my case for optimism…
I say this as I touch wood but this might be rock bottom. These numbers are bad, in fact these are the highest unemployment numbers since 2008 when quarterly data became available. While we’ve had high unemployment before, few would argue that this is probably critical now and the authorities simply have to move with urgency to rectify the situation.
As a business, we’ve just closed our financial year’s sales preliminarily 10% up from last year. 2020 has officially been our best year, pandemic and all and we’re not alone in this. Globally we’ve seen companies like Amazon and Tesla grow their value along with their shareholders and locally companies like Distell, Discovery and even Anglo American have all shown strong results in the second half of 2020. Our economy is resilient and this is a fantastic foundation to build on. If some companies including ours can grow during harsh economic times coupled with a global pandemic then we can all be confident that with a little more stability our environment is ripe for success.
If you’re a candidate in the market, you should be encouraged by the fact that collectively government and the public sector are committed to restarting our economy and creating jobs. As a business owner, I’ve seen an increase in the quality of the talent pool available to me and this has been extremely encouraging. COVID 19 has been a massive disruptor and whether or not we’re successful is dependent on how we react to a post pandemic world. We’re starting off on a low base and therefore we have the potential to show exceptional growth in the next year or two.
This means good news for candidates and employers alike. I believe the night is darkest before the dawn and I’m hopeful the sun will rise in 2021.