Cape Town’s unemployment down 4% year-on-year – GHL

Mayor says City is building towards a vision of being a city of hope for all in a country

Cape Town’s unemployment down 4% year-on-year, lowest of the metros

16 May 2023

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says the City is encouraged by unemployment in Cape Town declining by four percentage points year-on-year, with the city maintaining the lowest unemployment rate of the metros. However, much work still lies ahead to ensure more economic growth that helps more people out of poverty and into work over time. Read more below:

The latest Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force survey (QLFS) for January to March 2023 shows Cape Town’s unemployment rate is at 26% based on the expanded unemployment definition, which offers the most complete estimate. This is 0,9 percentage points lower than the previous quarter, and four percentage points lower compared to Q1 2022. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of positive employment growth for Cape Town.

In the first three months of 2023, 40 000 more Capetonians went to work, taking the city’s labour force to 1,7 million people. This takes employment levels beyond the pre-Covid mark, and is the highest recording of employment in Cape Town to date since the implementation of the QLFS report in 2008.

‘Our mission is to position Cape Town as a beacon of hope to show what is possible in South Africa. Decline is not inevitable, it can be halted and turned around. While too many people remain without jobs, we are encouraged by the drop in unemployment despite the record levels of load-shedding impacting our economy.

‘Cape Town is making big investments now to sustain the city’s economic momentum, including a R2,3bn end load-shedding plan which will offer protection from the first four stages of Eskom’s blackouts within three years. Our city will further invest R43bn in vital basic services infrastructure to drive economic growth and job creation over the next three years, more than Joburg and Durban combined. This investment alone will create an estimated 135 000 jobs in our city over three years,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

Hill-Lewis said Cape Town aims to be the easiest place to do business in Africa. A recently launched Ease of Doing Business Index will focus on reducing the costs, time and red tape associated with ten critical indicators for businesses, including building plan approvals, basic service installations, and business licensing.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos, said his team works closely with critical job-creating industries to help Capetonians access skills and job opportunities.

‘From call centres to craft and design, technology and green energy, boat building and tourism, to clothing manufacturing and property development, we work closely with these business partners to build their skilled workforces and secure investments from domestic and global corporations. For example, the Investment Facilitation Branch has secured new investments into Cape Town worth over R34bn and thousands of jobs since its establishment in 2017. Through our small business support measures, we have also helped entrepreneurs across the city to access the resources they need to survive and thrive. Cape Town is building towards our vision of being a City of hope for all in a country that is facing harsh economic realities,’ said Alderman Vos.

Issued by Lyndon Khan, Mayoral Media Officer, 16 May 2023