The ranks of the unemployed have swelled in Nelson Mandela Bay in the first three months of this year amid warnings that the job market appears increasingly bleak, with slim pickings for work seekers – especially younger people. It is a grim scenario that is unlikely to change going into next year, due to low economic growth, according to the business sector.
The Bay may have employed 3 000 more people in the first three months of the year, but a massive 20 000 more people joined the unemployment lines over the same period, according to Stats SA’s quarterly labour force survey.
Bloemendal father-of-three Michael Ellborn, 46, lost his job at an engineering firm 10 years ago and has struggled to secure steady employment since.
He has had to rely on the goodwill of friends and family to survive. “I walk to Westering every morning, hoping to get an odd job somewhere,” he said.
“I’m fortunate to get a job once or twice a week.
“Life has been hard and the future looks bleak for someone looking for employment.”
Compared to the last quarter of last year, the number of employed in the Bay rose from 344 000 to 347 000 – an increase of close to 1%.
However, 23 000 people joined those seeking employment, taking the total without jobs to 173 000.
This puts the metro’s unemployment rate at 33.2% – 2.6 percentage points higher than in the previous quarter.