South Africa Jobless Rate At 13-Year High Of 27.7%


The unemployment rate in South Africa increased to 27.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 from 26.5 percent in the previous period. It is the highest jobless rate since the first quarter of 2004 as unemployment rose faster than employment and more people joined the labour force.

The number of unemployed persons rose by 433 thousand to 6.2 million, the highest since at least 2001. Employment went up by 144 thousand to 16.2 million. Job gains occurred in the formal non-agricultural sector (181 thousand) and in private households (21 thousand) but losses were recorded in the informal sector (-14 thousand) and in agriculture (-44 thousand). 

The labour force increased by 577 thousand to 22.42 million and those detached from it fell by 421 thousand to 14.63 million.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, rose to 36.4 percent from 35.6 percent.

A year earlier, the jobless rate was lower at 26.7 percent. 

Statistics South Africa | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
6/1/2017 11:06:53 AM