Reply received: March 2014
QUESTION NUMBER 273
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 7 MARCH 2014
273. Mr T D Harris (DA) to ask the Minister in the Presidency: National Planning Commission:
Whether he has found that the expanded unemployment rate used by Statistics South Africa is a more accurate measure of unemployment than the official rate given the structurally high levels of discouragement amongst workseekers?
Both the official and expanded unemployment rate represents an appropriate measure for understanding labour market dynamics in South Africa and Statistics South Africa reports on both in its quarterly labour force report.
Stats SA publishes both these rates to provide a complete picture of the labour market in the context of high structural unemployment. The strict (official) definition of unemployment requires that active steps are taken to find employment. In this regard the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) is designed to ask specific questions about job search activities. In contrast, for the expanded definition, there is no requirement for the individuals to have actively sought a job. To be part of the discouraged, respondents should be prepared to work, should a job opportunity be available.
The 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (19th ICLS) under the auspices of ILO passed a resolution in 2013 that declares that only the strict definition reflecting active job search should be applied to define unemployment. However, the resolution also acknowledges the importance of other measures of labour under-utilization (underemployed and persons who are potentially available to enter the labour force which includes the discouraged work seekers). The implication of this will be that the strict unemployment rate will be complemented by other indicators of labour under-utilisation.
This resolution will assist countries in streamlining their approach to reporting the unemployment rate.
In line with the ILO resolution Stats SA is reviewing the headline labour market indicators and gearing for consultations with stakeholders, the Statistics Council and the Minister. Currently however, Stats SA will continue to publish both the strict and expanded unemployment rates.
Reply received: March 2014
QUESTION NUMBER 248
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28 FEBRUARY 2014
248. Mr P B Mnguni (Cope) to ask the Minister in the Presidency: National Planning Commission:
Whether, with reference to his reply to question 3025 on 5 November 2013, he will advise the Government to implement the parts of the National Development Plan on which there is support while negotiating the aspects of the specified plan that lacks support; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?
No. There is no basis for such advice.