Employment and unemployment is one of the critical measures used to determine the health of an economy. High unemployment also places a burden on the state and individuals to sustain those not working. In the long term, high unemployment leads to lower economic growth and even social insecurity. Government Policy makers have to give serious consideration to high unemployment and reduce it as far as possible. Measuring/ monitoring unemployment is critical in order to inform development decisions and to evaluate plans and interventions.


This item considers the change in employment and unemployment percentages within sub-places between two periods; 1996 and 2011. In this respect it is used to identify areas where it has changed.

Insights & Findings

The growth in unemployment is not limited to the township areas, but can be observed across cities. Even the central business areas (or areas adjacent) are showing signs of increases in the unemployed. Newer developed or settled areas show high numbers of unemployment in places. Also in the expansion (new growth) areas of townships are also increases in the unemployed. It must be remembered however that when considering the percentage change in unemployment the number of the population in the same areas has to be considered.


Using census information this item considers the change in unemployment over the period 1996 to 2011. It compares the percentage of unemployment (and employment) for the two periods. As both are percentages both therefore takes the population of the time into account. In addition, unemployment as calculated here consists of three combined items namely: recorded unemployment, not-economically active and discouraged employment seekers. All are considered as unemployed and no distinction is made between these items. The metadata document can be accessed here.

Other Resources

  • CSIR BE. 2015. Indicator – Employment unemployment change 1996-2011. (Prepared in support of SACN – State of the Cities Report 2015).

For more information contact:

Johan Maritz,

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