Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has announced a further delay in the release of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), Quarter 2 2020 results, which will now be published only before the end of September.
The delay is due to a “new collection methodology imposed” by the coronavirus (Covid-19) national lockdown restrictions in terms of the Disaster Management Act, the national statistics agency said in a statement on Sunday.
“The national statistics office suspended its fieldwork and face-to-face methods of administering questionnaires in the aftermath of lockdown imposed in the country on the 27th of March 2020 as part of measures to deal with the novel coronavirus outbreak,” the statement said.
“We got our fieldworkers off the field, re-organised our operations, and introduced the computer assisted telephone interviewing method,” Statistician General Risenga Maluleke explained in the statement.
Maluleke said additional “data confrontation and analysis”, based on historical data, needed to be done before the Quarter 2 2020 data could be published.
“This process is taking longer than anticipated, and has resulted in additional delays to the publication date. The QLFS Q2 2020 results will therefore be published before the end of September 2020,” he noted.
Stats SA acknowledged the importance of this dataset, particularly in light of the impact of Covid-19 on employment. It was for this reason that Stats SA was taking particular care to ensure that the data that it released met international standards.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this delay is causing to the QLFS data users,” the statement said. –ANA