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South Africa unemployment up to 27,2%

Staff Writer |
The official unemployment rate in South Africa increased by 0,5 of a percentage point to 27,2% compared to the first quarter of 2018.

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The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of 2018 released by Statistics South Africa, indicate that the increase in the unemployment rate is a result of a decline of 90,000 in the number of people in employment and an increase of 102,000 in the number of people who became unemployed between the first and second quarters of 2018.

This was coupled with an increase in the number of discouraged work-seekers to 2,9 million during this period. The South African working-age population increased by 154,000 or 0,4 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2018.

Employment gains of 22,000 were recorded in private households, while the formal sector (35,000), informal sector (73,000), Agriculture (3,000) recorded employment losses between first and second quarters of 2018.

The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 77,000 while the number of other not economically active persons increased by 65,000, resulting in an increase of 141,000 (up by 0,9 percent) in the number of people not in the labour force between the first and second quarters of 2018.

The industry that recorded the most job losses was Manufacturing which accounted for 105,000 jobs, followed by Community, social and personal services (93,000) and Trade (57,000).

Employment increases were recorded in Transport (54,000), Construction (45,000), Mining (38,000), Private households (22,000) and Utilities (18,000) industries.

At national level, the official unemployment rate increased by 0,5 percentage point to 27,2% in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter. This was also the case for five provinces while the rate decreased in the other four.

The largest increase in the unemployment rate was recorded in Free State (up by 1,6 percentage points), followed by Gauteng (up by 1,1 percentage points), and Western Cape (up by 1,0 percentage point).

A decline in official unemployment rates were recorded in Eastern Cape (down by 1,4 percentage points), Northern Cape (down by 0,6 of a percentage point), Limpopo (down by 0,6 of a percentage point) and KwaZulu-Natal (down by 0,5 of a percentage point).

The expanded unemployment rate increased by 0,5 of a percentage point in Q2: 2018 to 37,2% quarter-to-quarter, with Eastern Cape having the highest unemployment rate at 45,8%.

KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and North West had a difference of more than 17 percentage points between the official and expanded unemployment rates.

There were approximately 10,3 million persons aged 15–24 years in the second quarter of 2018. Between Q2: 2017 and Q2: 2018, the percentage of young persons aged 15–24 years who were not in employment, education or training (NEET) declined by 0,6 of a percentage point to 31,6% (3,3 million).

The NEET rate for males declined in three population groups, with the exception of white males.

Among females the NEET rate increased for Indian/Asian and white population groups. Of the 20,2 million young people aged 15-34 years, 39,3% were not in employment, education or training (NEET) – an increase by 0,4 of a percentage point compared to the second quarter of 2017.

The NEET rate increased for black African males and white males, while that of coloured and Indian/Asian males decreased.

Female NEET rate was higher than that of their male counterparts for all population groups. In Q2: 2017 and Q2: 2018 the highest NEET rate of over 40% was recorded among black African females aged 15–34 years.

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