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Free State records 68,000 jobs lost in 2016

68,000 more Freestaters have lost their jobs during 2016. The province recorded the highest number of job losses in the country. This is a massive blow to the prosperity and welfare of tens of thousands of families who are struggling to put food on the table.

The official unemployment rate now stands at 34.7% while the real unemployment rate is at 40.9% (expanded definition). This means that out of a labour force of 1,160 million people, more than 485,000 people who are able to work, are unemployed. Out of the 68,000 jobs lost, more than 64,000 were from the formal sector. Mining recorded 18,000, Manufacturing 10,000 and the Finance sector recorded 12,000 job losses respectively.

It seems as though the provincial economy is being suffocated by poor service delivery, decaying infrastructure, and corruption. The province finds itself increasingly in an economically hostile environment that scares off new investment. This hampers economic growth much needed for job creation, especially for the thousands of unemployed youth.

In the Free State, just over the last quarter 2016 (October to December), 24,000 people lost their jobs.