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Nearly half of SA women are 'out of the labour force', many of those with jobs earn poorly

Almost half of the working age women in SA are out of the labour force compared with 35.6% of their male counterparts, the latest quarterly labour survey shows. File photo.
Almost half of the working age women in SA are out of the labour force compared with 35.6% of their male counterparts, the latest quarterly labour survey shows. File photo.
Image: Bloomberg

The labour market continues to favour men and shows no signs of making real progress towards improving prospects for women.

This is according to Stats SA, which released its latest quarterly labour force survey on Tuesday.

The productive potential of women in the labour market remains unused.
Statistics SA

In 2022, 47% of women in the country were recorded as economically inactive, with Stats SA noting, “This means that almost half of the working age women in SA are out of the labour force compared to 35.6% of their male counterparts.

“The productive potential of SA women in the labour market remains unused.”

Women who do find work are usually employed in vulnerable employment — characterised by inadequate earnings, low productivity and difficult work conditions, said Stats SA.

Occupations that contributed the largest share of employment among women include elementary (22.3%), sales and services (18.5%), clerk (16.4%), domestic workers (11.9%) and technician (11.2%) in Q2:2022.

Only 5.8% of employed women occupy management positions.

The second quarter saw a decrease in the youth unemployment rate by 1.3 percentage points to 46.5%.

Overall, the official unemployment rate was 33.9% in the second quarter — a decrease of 0.6 of a percentage point from 34.5% in the first quarter of the year.

The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment also decreased by 1.4 percentage points to 44.1 % in the second quarte compared with the first quarter.

TimesLIVE

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