Unemployment Rate Holds Steady in Q3 2023, Disparities Persist
The latest labour market data for August 2023 (Q3) has been released, revealing interesting trends in the unemployment landscape. While the overall unemployment rate remained at 18.0 percent, slightly declined as anticipated, there were notable variations across different demographic groups.
Gender Disparities Persist: One striking observation was the persistent gender gap in unemployment rates. Females continued to experience a higher rate of unemployment at 21.9 percent, whereas their male counterparts saw a lower rate at 14.8 percent. This discrepancy underscores the importance of addressing gender-related factors in workforce participation and job opportunities.
Youth Unemployment Challenge: The youth population, aged 16 to 30 years, faced a relatively higher unemployment rate of 21.0 percent. This statistic is a reminder of the unique challenges young job seekers encounter, including a lack of experience and limited job market access.
Improvement in Employment-to-Population Ratio: On a positive note, the employment-to-population ratio saw an encouraging increase. In August 2023 (Q3), it stood at 49.0 percent, up from 46.4 percent in the same period last year (Q3 2022). This increase in the percentage of people in working age who are gainfully employed points to a stronger labour market, which may be the result of employment efforts and economic growth.
Labour Force Participation Remains Stable: The labour force participation rate, a critical indicator of workforce engagement, held steady at 59.8 percent in August 2023 (Q3). This stability in labour force participation, combined with the increase in the employment-to-population ratio, indicates a positive trend of more people actively seeking and securing jobs.
In conclusion, the Q3 2023 labour force survey paints a nuanced picture of the employment landscape. While the overall unemployment rate remained consistent, gender and age disparities persist.
By: MUKUNDABANTU Jean Marc
Labour Statistical Research Statistician Team Leader