South Africa unemployment

[FILE] JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 04: General view of job seekers on June 04, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to media reports, South Africa’s official unemployment rate rose to 32.6% between January and March (the first quarter) of 2021, from 32.5% in the last quarter of 2020. (Photo by Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle)

Unemployment rate falls by 0.6% – nearly 650k jobs gained in Q2

The official unemployment rate fell by 0.6% in Q2, while the youth unemployment rate fell by 1.3%. The joblessness rate for those aged 15 to 34 now sits at 46.5%.

South Africa unemployment

[FILE] JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 04: General view of job seekers on June 04, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to media reports, South Africa’s official unemployment rate rose to 32.6% between January and March (the first quarter) of 2021, from 32.5% in the last quarter of 2020. (Photo by Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle)

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of 2022 on Tuesday, 23 August. The official unemployment rate fell by 0.6% and stands at 33.9%.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECREASED IN Q2

Stats SA said the Q2 QLFS survey results indicate that 648 000 jobs were gained between the first and second quarters of 2022.

Community and Social Service (+276 000), Trade (+169 000), Finance (+128 000) and Construction (+104 000) were the sectors with the biggest job gains. While Manufacturing (-73 000) and Transport (-54 000) suffered losses. In total, 15.6 million people were employed in Q2.

The number of unemployed persons in South Africa increased by 132 000 to 8 million in Q2 compared to Q1. However, the number of discouraged workers decreased by 183 000 (4.9%) and the number of people not economically active due to reasons other than discouragement decreased by 452 000 (3.3%).

These changes resulted in a net decrease of 635 000 people in the not economically active population, said Stats SA.

As mentioned, the above changes saw the official unemployment drop from 34,5% (Q1) to 33.9% (Q2).

The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition, which includes discouraged workers, also decreased by 1.4% to 44.1% in Q2 compared to Q1.

YOUTH JOBLESSNESS RATE ALSO FALLS BUT REMAINS HIGH

The QLFS shows that youth remain vulnerable in the labour market. The total number of unemployed youth (aged 15 to 34) increased by 92 000 (2%) to 4.8 million in Q2. However, there was a significant increase of 370 000 (7.2%) more employed youth during the same period.

The increases in both youth employment and unemployment saw the youth unemployment rate fall by 1.3% to 46.5% in Q2.

According to Fin24, the decreased rates are unexpected – economists predicted a rise in unemployment due to rampant load shedding and the economic impact of the devastating floods that hit KwaZulu-Natal this year.

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