Unemployment eases in last quarter

Picture: Leon Lestrade

Picture: Leon Lestrade

Published Feb 14, 2017


Johannesburg – The number of people without gainful

employment dropped 92 000 in the last quarter of 2016.

As a consequence, Statistics SA says in a statement

released on Tuesday, the unemployment rate is now 26.5 percent, which

represents a 0.6 percentage point decline.

In the third quarter, South Africa's unemployment rose to

its highest in 13 years, with manufacturing, mining and agriculture sectors all

shedding jobs

In its Tuesday statement, the statistics agency noted the

working age population grew by 155 000 people, or 0.4 percent, and the

labour force by 143 000. Unemployment was 27.1 percent in the third quarter.

South Africans can legally start working at 15.

Read also: SA's

unemployment at highest since 2003

However, the stats agency said, the “not economically

active population” increased by 12 000, of which 1 000 were discouraged


Stats SA only counts people who are actively out of work

and seeking work as unemployed.

It notes employment rose in all sectors; formal sector

employment increased by 127 000 while informal sector employment increased by

53 000.

Employment in agriculture, which was hard hit by last

year’s drought – the worst in recorded history, gained 38 000, while private

household agriculture employment gained 17 000 jobs.

Year-on-year, employment increased by 51 000 or 0.3 percent

while unemployment grew by 588 000 or 11.3 percent.

This led to an increase in the unemployment rate by 2

percentage points to 26.5 percent.

Despite the quarterly growth, the inactive population in the

last quarter declined by 6 000 year-on-year, which mainly observed in the not

economically active population.

The quarterly employment gains of 235 000 in the quarter

were driven by increases in eight of the ten industries, and included community

and social services, transport, manufacturing and agriculture.

Mining and construction shed jobs.



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