Home South African 8.2 million jobless as SA unemployment rate rises to 32.9%

8.2 million jobless as SA unemployment rate rises to 32.9%

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The unemployment rate in South Africa has risen to 32.9% in the first quarter of 2024, from 32.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The official unemployment rate was 32.9% in the first quarter of 2024. File picture: Tumi Pakkies, Independent Newspapers

THE UNEMPLOYMENT rate in South Africa has risen to 32.9% in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, from 32.1% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023.

This is according to the latest figures by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), as released in its Quarterly Labour Force Survey for 2024.

According to the research, the amount of unemployed people rose from 7.89 million in Q4 of 2023 to 8.22 million in Q1 of 2024.

“The number of unemployed persons increased by 330,000 to 8.22 million. Additionally, the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 214,000 to 13.1 million, while discouraged work-seekers decreased by 1,000 in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the fourth quarter of 2023,” said Stats SA.

SOME GOOD NEWS

Stats SA said that the number of employed persons in the country increased by 22,000 to 16.7 million in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the fourth quarter of 2023.

Employment in the formal sector increased by 56,000 in Q1 of 2024. Stats SA said that employment in the informal sector decreased by 100,000 over the same period.

“The industries that contributed to the net employment increase include trade (up by 109,000), manufacturing (up by 99,000), private households (up by 44,000), transport (up by 39,000), agriculture (21,000) and mining (9,000).”

Stats SA said that employment losses were recorded in community and social services (down by 122,000), construction (down by 106,000), finance (down by 50,000) and utilities (down by 17,000).

The provinces that recorded increases in employment when compared with the previous quarter were KwaZulu-Natal (35,000), Gauteng (26,000) and the Northern Cape (4,000).

Stats SA said that the provinces that recorded decreases in employment were the Western Cape (17,000), followed by North West (13,000), Mpumalanga (8,000), the Eastern Cape (4,000) and Limpopo (3,000). The Free State remained unchanged.

Summary of the labour market measures for Q1 of 2024. Picture: Stats SA

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