South Africa’s unemployment rate declined to 24.9% in the second quarter of 2012 from 25.2% in the first quarter‚ Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Tuesday.

The expanded unemployment rate‚ which includes discouraged workers‚ also declined - to 36.2% from 36.6% in the previous quarter.

Employment increased by 0.2% or 25‚000 between the first and second quarters of 2012 while unemployment declined by 0.3% or 56‚000 persons during that period.

The number of unemployed people now stands at 4.47 million while the number of employed people is at 13.447 million.

A breakdown of the data shows that the trade sector shed 91‚000 jobs while the manufacturing sector shed 44‚000 jobs.

Employment in community and social services‚ which mainly reflects govt employment‚ rose by 121‚000 between the first and second quarters of the year.

The number of discouraged work seekers who have given up looking for work declined by 24‚000 to 2.311 million people between the first and second quarters. - I-Net Bridge