Home South African Unemployment rate drops in third quarter

Unemployment rate drops in third quarter

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South Africa’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in one-and-a-half years in the three months ended September 30 as more than 200,000 jobs were created during the period, in spite of economic headwinds and crippling power cuts.

This was the lowest jobless rate since the first quarter of 2021 as the number of unemployed persons declined by 269,000 to 7.7 million, and employment rose by 204,000 to 15.8 million. File picture: EPA

SOUTH Africa’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest in one-and-a-half years in the three months ended September 30 as more than 200 000 jobs were created during the period, in spite of economic headwinds and crippling power cuts.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) showed that the unemployment rate fell by 1 percentage point to 32.9% in the third quarter, down from 33.9% in the second quarter.

This was the lowest jobless rate since the first quarter of 2021 as the number of unemployed persons declined by 269,000 to 7.7 million, and employment rose by 204,000 to 15.8 million.

Stats SA said that manufacturing, trade, construction and transport recorded the largest job gains, while job losses were recorded in finance, private households and mining and agriculture.

The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment also decreased by 1 percentage point to 43.1% in the third quarter, down from 44.1% in the second quarter.

The number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement, however, increased by 264,000 between the two quarters resulting in a net increase of 210,000 in the not economically active population.

The working-age population increased by 144,000 or 0.4% in the third quarter. However, discouraged work seekers also decreased by 54,000 to 3.5 million in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter.

Data showed that youth aged 15 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years recorded the highest unemployment rates of 59.6% and 40.5% respectively.

About 3.5 million, or 34.5%, out of 10.2 million young people aged 15 to 24 were not in employment, education or training (NEET), meaning a 1 percentage point increase in NEET in the third quarter.

Stats SA said the unemployment rate among the black African population group at 36.8% remained higher than the national average and other population groups.

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