Statistics South Africa, on Tuesday, released their quarterly labour force survey, which looked at how the labour market performed in the last quarter of 2018.
South Africa and high unemployment
In July 2018, we were treated to the unwelcomed news that South Africa’s unemployment rate, in the third quarter, sat at a staggering 27.5%.
This was, and still is, one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world. Relatively, our youth unemployment rate has, since the third quarter of 2018, sat above 50%.
What is South Africa’s current unemployment rate?
However, according to Stats SA, the last quarter of the year saw a slight improvement in the job market.
The official rate of unemployment in South Africa, according to the research institute, is 27.1%, a 0.4 decrease in percentage points.
Moreover, in the broader context of unemployment, which includes the people who have stopped looking for work, unemployment decreased to 37% , down by 0.0 percentage points.
“The working-age population increased by 149 000 or 0,4% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter of the same year. The number of employed persons increased by 149 000 to 16,5 million in Q4: 2018 while the number of unemployed persons declined by 70 000 to 6,1 million compared to Q3: 2018, resulting in an increase of 79 000 (up by 0,3%) in the number of people in the labour force.
“The absorption rate increased by 0,2 of a percentage point to 43,3% and the unemployment rate declined by 0,4 of a percentage point to 27,1% compared to the third quarter of 2018,” Stats SA said in a statement.
Comparatively, as the tables below shows, the fourth quarter of 2018 saw improved activity in the labour market.
The formal sector, followed by private households and agriculture contributed the most to the increase in employment.
At the same time in 2017, employment had decreased by 21 000.
As slight as the drop may be, the welcomed news comes from the improved labour statistics of the agricultural sector.
This sure qualifies as something to smile about in a climate where almost everything is on the verge of collapse.
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