The unemployment rate in SA has risen to 27.5 percent in the third quarter of the year, the highest jobless rate since the third quarter of 2017. File picture: Nic Bothma/EPA

CAPE TOWN -  The unemployment rate in South Africa has risen to 27.5 percent in the third quarter of the year, the highest jobless rate since the third quarter of 2017.  

The rand, despite these negative statistics, remained stable. Prior to the revelations by StatsSA, the rand was trading at R14.66 to the dollar at 10: 00 local time. At that same time, the rand was trading at R18.69 to the pound and was trading at R16.63 to the euro.

The rand was trading at R14.68 (12:20 local time) to the dollar after the news was released by StatsSA. The rand traded at R18.73 to the pound and was at R16.68 to the euro. 

DATA

Data from the StatSA showed that 127 000 people lost their jobs in the quarter and reached 6.2 million as the country's economy continues to punch below its weight. 

The stats agency said 4.3 million of the unemployed people have been unemployed for a year or longer.   

The economy created 92 000 jobs in the period, taking South Africa's labour force to 16.3 million.

"Between the third quarter of 2008 and the third quarter of 2018, the number of persons who were in long-term unemployment increased by 1,7 million, from 2,6 million in 2008," StatsSA says.

According to Trading Economics, the unemployment rate in South Africa averaged 25.60 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.

Earlier this month, Bureau for Economic Research (BER) data showed that since the 2009 financial crisis, domestic real GDP growth has underperformed relative to both emerging market peers and average global growth.

Additional reporting by Kabelo Khumalo

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE