The unemployment rate in South Africa decreased to 27.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from 27.5 percent in the previous period. The number of unemployed went down by 70 thousand to 6.14 million and employment rose by 149 thousand to 16.53 million. The unemployment rate usually falls in the last quarter of the year, due to higher job activity during the festive season. However, a year earlier, the jobless rate was lower at 26.7 percent. Unemployment Rate in South Africa averaged 25.63 percent from 2000 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 31.20 percent in the first quarter of 2003 and a record low of 21.50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Unemployment Rate in South Africa is expected to be 27.60 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Unemployment Rate in South Africa to stand at 27.60 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 28.40 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.

South Africa Unemployment Rate
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-05-15 09:30 AM Unemployment Rate 26.7% 26.7% 28.0%
2018-07-31 09:30 AM Unemployment Rate 27.2% 26.7% 26.7%
2018-10-30 09:30 AM Unemployment Rate 27.5% 27.2% 27.4%
2019-02-12 09:30 AM Unemployment Rate 27.1% 27.5% 27.40%
2019-05-14 09:30 AM Unemployment Rate 27.1% 27.60%
2019-07-30 09:30 AM Unemployment Rate 27.80%
2019-10-29 09:30 AM Unemployment Rate 28.00%



South Africa Jobless Rate Drops to 27.1% in Q4

The unemployment rate in South Africa decreased to 27.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from 27.5 percent in the previous period. The unemployment rate usually falls in the last quarter of the year, due to higher job activity during the festive season. However, a year earlier, the jobless rate was lower at 26.7 percent.

The number of unemployed decreased by 70 thousand to 6.14 million from 6.21 million in the third quarter of 2018. Employment rose by 149 thousand to 16.53 million from 16.38 million in the previous period. Job creation was registered in the formal sector (+92 thousand), private households (+65 thousand), manufacturing (+48 thousand), finance (+109 thousand), mining (+31 thousand), trade (+14 thousand) and in agriculture (+7 thousand).  Meanwhile, cuts ocurred in utilities (-22 thousand), construction (-21 thousand), transport services (-30 thousand), community and social services (-51 thousand) and in the informal sector (-15 thousand).

The labour force force also increased by 79 thousand to 22.67 million from 22.59 million in the previous quarter and those detached from it went up by 70 thousand to 15.47 million from 15.40 million in Q3.

The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for work, decreased to 37 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from 37.3 percent in the third quarter.

By genders, the jobless rate decreased for men (25.1 percent vs 25.9 percent in Q3) but it edged up for women (29.5 percent vs 29.4 percent). Also, the youth unemployment rate climbed to 54.7 percent from 52.8 percent in Q3, hitting the highest level since Q2 2017.


Statistics South Africa | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
2/12/2019 2:49:28 PM



South Africa Labour Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Unemployment Rate 27.10 27.50 31.20 21.50 percent [+]
Employed Persons 9733000.00 9748000.00 9817000.00 3694977.00 [+]
Unemployed Persons 6100.00 6200.00 6214.11 3873.00 Thousand [+]
Labor Force Participation Rate 59.40 59.50 60.80 53.60 percent [+]
Labour Costs 150.90 150.80 150.90 1.10 Index Points [+]
Wages 20860.00 20176.00 20860.00 6742.00 ZAR/Month [+]
Wages in Manufacturing 18344.00 17674.00 18344.00 6250.00 ZAR/Month [+]
Population 57.73 56.84 57.73 17.46 Million [+]
Retirement Age Women 60.00 60.00 60.00 60.00 [+]
Retirement Age Men 60.00 60.00 65.00 60.00 [+]
Wages Low Skilled 4380.00 3960.00 4380.00 3840.00 ZAR/Month [+]
Youth Unemployment Rate 54.70 52.80 55.90 48.80 percent [+]
Wages High Skilled 22600.00 20300.00 22600.00 19000.00 ZAR/Month [+]
Living Wage Family 11300.00 10700.00 11300.00 10700.00 ZAR/Month [+]
Living Wage Individual 6570.00 6140.00 6570.00 6140.00 ZAR/Month [+]
Employment Rate 43.10 43.10 46.17 41.00 percent [+]


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. This page provides - South Africa Unemployment Rate - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. South Africa Unemployment Rate - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on February of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
27.10 27.50 31.20 21.50 2000 - 2018 percent Quarterly




Country Last Previous
South Africa 27.10 Dec/18
Spain 14.45 Dec/18
Turkey 12.30 Nov/18
Brazil 11.60 Dec/18
Italy 10.30 Dec/18
Argentina 9.00 Sep/18
France 8.80 Dec/18
Euro Area 7.90 Dec/18
India 6.10 Dec/18
Saudi Arabia 6.00 Sep/18
Canada 5.80 Jan/19
Indonesia 5.34 Sep/18
Australia 5.00 Dec/18
Russia 4.80 Dec/18
South Korea 4.40 Jan/19
United Kingdom 4.00 Nov/18
United States 4.00 Jan/19
China 3.80 Dec/18
Netherlands 3.60 Dec/18
Mexico 3.40 Dec/18
Germany 3.30 Dec/18
Switzerland 2.80 Jan/19
Japan 2.40 Dec/18
Singapore 2.20 Dec/18


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