South Africa's unemployment steady at 27.7 percent in second quarter

Claudine Rigal
Août 8, 2017

South Africa's unemployment rate has remained unchanged between quarter one and two of 2017 at 27.7%, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Monday, 7 August 2017.

Statistician-general Pali Lehohla released the Quarterly Labour Force survey at a briefing in Pretoria on Monday.

In the corresponding period a year ago, the rate was 26.6 percent. "It's very hard to say that there will be more jobs", said Lehohla.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, rose slightly to 36.6 percent in the second quarter, from 36.4 percent in the previous quarter.

There was a net loss of 113,000 jobs between the first quarter of the year and the second quarter, with 16.1 million people formally employed - down from 6.2 million before.

The labor force participation rate dropped to 59.9 percent in the second quarter from 60.5 percent in the preceding quarter.

South Africa entered a technical recession in the first quarter.

Construction lost 110,000 jobs while agriculture shrunk by 40,000 jobs.

However, employment gains were observed in trade (58,000), finance (17,000), manufacturing (10,000) and utilities (2,000). Among the unemployed in this category altogether 32.2% are not in employment, education or training. This was approximately 3.3 million young people.

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