SACP on Stats SA’s Labour Force survey findings for 2nd quarter of 2020: Structural and systemic transformation of our economy is the way forward, as opposed to neoliberal economic reforms
29 September 2020
The South African Communist Party (SACP) notes the Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force survey findings for the second quarter of 2020, released on Tuesday, 29 September 2020.The advance and deepening of the second radical phase of our democratic transition is required to achieve an economic and social development turnaround. Therefore, structural and systemic transformation of our economy is the way forward, as opposed to neoliberal economic reforms.
In the second quarter of 2020, 2.2 million jobs were lost mainly but not exclusively because of the interwoven global and national impacts of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. In our economy, the number of companies placed under business rescue, closed or liquidated increased. In defence of profits, many capitalist bosses who command control in the economy resorted to retrenchments. Not just jobs or employment but also people, the workers and their dependents, and their livelihoods, were impacted. This will, and has already started deepening the pre-existing crisis of social reproduction – the serious, economic system problem that affects and has impaired or paralysed the ability of many families and individuals to support their lives. The root cause of these crises is the capitalist system and its neoliberal and imperialist policy regimes.
While the official unemployment rate declined from 31.1 per cent in the first quarter to 23.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, the number of jobs lost rose astronomically. This contradiction, between the substantial decline in the official rate of unemployment and the astronomical increase in the number of jobs lost, shows that the narrow definition of unemployment does not reflect the full extent of unemployment. Total unemployment has increased by 2.3 per cent to 42 per cent in terms of the expanded unemployment rate that covers demoralised work-seekers and reflects the full extent of the level of unemployment.