South Africa Unemployment Rate Rises to 12-1/2-Year High

The jobless rate in South Africa went up to 27.1 percent in the third quarter of 2016 from 26.6 percent in the previous period, reaching the highest unemployment rate since 2004. Employment rose faster than unemployment while more people joined the labour force, bringing the participation rate up to its highest since 2002.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 239 thousand to 5873 thousand. 21.7 million people were employed, 288 thousand more than in the previous quarter. Job gains occurred in construction (+104 thousand to 1.49 million); trade (+61 thousand to 3.19 million); transport (+53 thousand to 915 thousand); agriculture (+56 thousand to 881 thousand) and utilities (+7 thousand to 118 thousand) while losses were recorded in manufacturing (-28 thousand to 1.68 million), private households (-15 thousand to 1.28 million) and mining (-9 thousand to 438 thousand)

More people joined the labour force (+527 thousand to 21.7 million), bringing the participation rate up to 59.1 percent. 15 million were detached from the labour force, 368 thousand less than in the previous quarter.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, edged down to 36.3 percent from 36.4 percent.

A year earlier, the jobless rate was lower at 25.5 percent. 

Statistics South Africa | Joana Taborda |
11/22/2016 11:06:35 AM