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South Africa’s Unemployment Rate Gets Worse, Black African Women Most Vulnerable


October 29, 2019

Statistics SA released data showing South Africa’s unemployment rate increased by 0.1 per cent to 29.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2019. This is the highest unemployment rate since Stats SA started measuring unemployment using the QLFS in the first quarter of 2008.

The data showed that unemployment is highest (34.4 per cent) for those with less than matric while graduates recorded the lowest unemployment rate (8.2 per cent).

Youth aged between 15-24 years are the most affected as their unemployment rate stands at 58.2 per cent. On the other hand, the unemployment rate for those about to retire was only 9.9 per cent, Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke commented saying the difference between the two is close to 50 percentage point.

Unemployment rates increased in three sectors with the formal sector recording the largest (43,000), then followed by the Agriculture sector (38 000), Private household (35,000).

In the informal sector, employment in the informal sector declined by 53 000 in the third quarter compared to the second quarter.

Employment decline in the third quarter was observed in manufacturing, construction, trade and utilities which shed off 30,000, 24,000, 21,000 and 18,000 jobs respectively.

The number of those economically inactive declined by 35,000 between the second and the third quarters of 2019, leading to a net increase of 9,000 in the not economically productive population, this is according to Stats SA.

The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 44,000 in the third quarter.

“Compared to a year ago, total employment decreased by 5,000, the number of unemployed persons increased by 8.4 per cent (524,000), and the number of persons who were not economically active increased by 0.5 per cent (78,000),” the company said.

Featured Image Courtesy: youthemploymentdecade.org

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