South Africa Unemployment Rate Down To 26.5%


The jobless rate in South Africa fell to 26.5 percent in the last three months of 2016 after reaching a 12-1/2-year high of 27.1 percent in the previous period. Employment rose while unemployment fell and more people continued to join the labour force, bringing the participation rate up to a new high since 2002.

The number of unemployed persons went down by 92 thousand to 5.781 million. 16.069 million people were employed, 235 thousand more than in the previous quarter. Job gains occurred in community and social services (73 thousand to 3.571 million); transport (46 thousand to 0.961 million); manufacturing (44 thousand to 1.727 million); agriculture (38 thousand to 0.919 million); trade (24 thousand to 3.222 million); private households (17 thousand to 1.299 million); utilities (13 thousand to 0.131 million) and finance and buisness services (6 thousand to 2.329 million). In contrast, job losses were recorded in mining (-17 thousand to 0.421 million) and construction (-9 thousand to 1.483 million). 

More people joined the labour force (143 thousand to 21.849 million), bringing the participation rate up to 59.2 percent from 59.1 percent. 15.055 million were detached from the labour force, 12 thousand more than in the previous quarter.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, declined to 35.6 percent from 36.3 percent.

A year earlier, the jobless rate was lower at 24.5 percent. 

Statistics South Africa | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
2/14/2017 9:22:26 AM