The 0.6% drop in South Africa’s unemployment rate from 34.5% (2022 Q1) to 33.9% (2022 Q2) as reported by Stats SA this week has sparked a lot of debate, with various opinions surfacing regarding the reasons behind the slight improvement, based on fact or not.
According to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey for 2022 Q2, the number of employed persons increased in eight of the ten industries, with the largest increases being recorded in:
Community & Social Services (276 000)
Trade (169 000)
Finance (128 000)
Construction (104 000)
Decreases in employment were recorded in:
Manufacturing (73 000)
Transport (54 000)
Whether the net number of employed persons is increasing in your sector or not, job losses can unfortunately be experienced across all, with positions being made redundant despite overall growth in numbers, due to mergers, takeovers, restructures, downsizing or simply a transition to a new technology by organisations requiring a new or different set of skills.
Entrepreneurship has often been cited as the solution to reducing unemployment in South Africa and, in the National Development Plan 2030, has been prioritised to advance the growth of SMME’s, as the catalyst for economic growth and development.
For 20 years, we have provided Outplacement & Career Transition support to those affected by retrenchment, with the focus being on assisting participants with re-establishing themselves in a new and better position. Recently however, an increase has been seen in participants who are not looking for assistance with finding a new position, but rather with becoming self-employed.
Some of these individuals are looking for a way to cover their expenses as they search for a new position, or are thinking of fulfilling their dream of being their own boss. Making their own hours, setting their own fees, saying goodbye to corporate politics, not having to worry about being retrenched and the exciting prospect of bringing their good ideas to reality for clients are just some of the benefits that self-employment could bring. However, they need to be realistic about the challenges they are likely to face as well.
Self-employment is an important option to consider in the early phases of career transition. It is empowering but not easy, and those who embark on this journey can’t afford to be afraid of failure. They also need a strong back-up plan in case it does not generate income as quickly as required and the majority of South Africans do not find themselves in this position.
Following the steps as outlined under "Insights to Entrepreneurship" in the latest edition of our book, A Bend in The Road - A Guide to Career Transition, helps participants answer some key questions to defining their business, ensuring they have a complete understanding of what they would like to start.
If your organisation is currently retrenching and would like to provide their staff with support, either through a Career Transition or Entrepreneurial Coaching programme, consider offering our services to those affected. Call us on 011 888 9009, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dma-group.co.za/outplacement to find out more.