South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 34.9% in the third quarter of 2021, up from 34.4% in the previous period. It was the highest jobless rate since comparable data began in 2008, on the back of the July unrests and the still stringent lockdown. The number of unemployed persons fell by 183 thousand to 7.6 million, but employment slumped by 660 thousand to 14.2 million and the labour force plunged by 842 thousand to 21.9 million. Job losses were concentrated in the trade sector (-309 thousand), community and social services (-210 thousand), construction (-65 thousand), private households (-65 thousand) and mining (-54 thousand), while the finance sector posted the only increase (+138 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for work, was at 46.6%, up from 44.4% in the second quarter. The youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, hit a new record high of 66.5%. source: Statistics South Africa

Unemployment Rate in South Africa averaged 26.32 percent from 2000 until 2021, reaching an all time high of 34.90 percent in the third quarter of 2021 and a record low of 21.50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. This page provides - South Africa Unemployment Rate - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. South Africa Unemployment Rate - data, historical chart, forecasts and calendar of releases - was last updated on December of 2021.

Unemployment Rate in South Africa is expected to be 36.00 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. In the long-term, the South Africa Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 36.00 percent in 2022 and 35.00 percent in 2023, according to our econometric models.

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South Africa Unemployment Rate


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2021-08-24 09:30 AM Q2 34.4% 32.6% 35%
2021-11-30 09:30 AM Q3 34.9% 34.4% 35.6%
2022-02-23 09:30 AM Q4 34.9%


Related Last Previous Unit Reference
Unemployment Rate 34.90 34.40 percent Sep/21
Employed Persons 14282.01 14941.57 Sep/21
Unemployed Persons 7600.00 7800.00 Thousand Sep/21
Labor Force Participation Rate 55.20 57.50 percent Sep/21
Wages 23526.00 23122.00 ZAR/Month Jun/21
Wages in Manufacturing 20136.00 19552.00 ZAR/Month Jun/21
Population 59.30 58.80 Million Dec/20
Youth Unemployment Rate 66.50 64.40 percent Sep/21
Employment Rate 35.90 37.73 percent Sep/21

News Stream
South Africa Jobless Rate Hits New Record High in Q3
South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 34.9% in the third quarter of 2021, up from 34.4% in the previous period. It was the highest jobless rate since comparable data began in 2008, on the back of the July unrests and the still stringent lockdown. The number of unemployed persons fell by 183 thousand to 7.6 million, but employment slumped by 660 thousand to 14.2 million and the labour force plunged by 842 thousand to 21.9 million. Job losses were concentrated in the trade sector (-309 thousand), community and social services (-210 thousand), construction (-65 thousand), private households (-65 thousand) and mining (-54 thousand), while the finance sector posted the only increase (+138 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for work, was at 46.6%, up from 44.4% in the second quarter. The youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, hit a new record high of 66.5%.
2021-11-30
South Africa Jobless Rate Hits New Record High in Q2
South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 34.4% in the second quarter of 2021 from 32.6% in the previous period. It was the highest jobless rate since comparable data began in 2008, amid the worsening pandemic crisis and also reflecting a week of deadly unrest and looting last month in parts of the country. The number of unemployed persons jumped by 584 thousand to 7.8 million, employment fell by 54 thousand to 14.9 million and the labour force went up by 530 thousand to 22.8 million. Job losses were concentrated in the financial sector (-278 thousand), followed by community and social services (-166 thousand) and manufacturing (-83 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was at 44.4%, up from 43.2% in the prior period. The youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, hit a new record high of 64.4%.
2021-08-24
South Africa Jobless Rate Hits New Record High
South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021 from 32.5% in the previous period. It was the highest jobless rate since comparable data began in 2008. The number of unemployed persons increased by 8 thousand to 7.2 million, employment fell by 28 thousand to 15 million and the labour force went down by 20 thousand to 22.2 million. Total employment fell mostly in construction (-87 thousand), trade (-84 thousand), private households (-70 thousand), transportation services (-40 thousand) and agriculture (-18 thousand), but it rose sharply in financial services (+215 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was at 43.2%, up from 42.6% in the prior period. Also, the youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, hit a new record high of 63.3%.
2021-06-01

South Africa Unemployment Rate
In South Africa, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.