Picture: African News Agency/ANA

JOHANNESBURG – Data from Statistics South Africa shows that 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.

Statistician-General of South Africa Risenga Maluleke says education plays a critical role in being absorbed into the labour market.

‘The unemployment rate for those with a matric or less remains higher than those with post-matric qualifications,” Maluleke said.

Stats SA says 149 000 more people were employed in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the fourth quarter
of 2017, gains driven by the finance, private households and manufacturing industries, while the biggest decrease was recorded in the service industry. Private households added 65 000 jobs while manufacturing added 48 000 and mining 31 000.

The industries that recorded declines in employment were a community and Social services which shed 51 000), transport 30 000, utilities 22 000, and construction 21 000.  The stats agency says the largest employment increases were recorded in Gauteng with 86 000 more people joining the workforce, Free State with 33 000 and Western Cape hired 26 000 people.

The Eastern Cape saw 15 000 losing their jobs while  6 000 jobs were shed in North West.