PRETORIA, South Africa’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 27.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, according to the latest data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

Unemployment is still at 27.7 per cent like it was in the second quarter, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said at the release of the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) here Tuesday.

Employment was at 16.2 million, while the absorption rate was at 43.3 per cent. The country’s absorption rate has not recovered to the level of 45.8 per cent seen in 2008. Meanwhile, the labour force participation rate was at 59.9 per cent.

The labour market in the third quarter had 37.4 million people of working age (15 to 64 years). A total 16.2 million people, up by 92,000 were employed, while 6.2 million (up by 33,000) were not employed in the third quarter. Those who were not economically active numbered 15 million.

The survey found that there were large disparities in the labour market with women having a higher unemployment rate than men. In addition, the less educated were more likely to be unemployed.

By age group, the 25 to 34-year-olds almost have the same participation level as 45 to 54-year-olds but their unemployment rate is double that of 45 to 54-year-olds.

For those not in employment, education and training (NEET) the survey found that of the 10.3 million young people aged 15 to 34, 3.1 million were not in NEET.

The net quarter-on-quarter increase of 92,000 in employment were driven by the finance sector, which grew by 68,000 jobs, mainly driven by business activities, as well as architectural, engineering and other technical activities. Gains were also seen in the service sector which was up by 56,000, transport by 34,000 mainly driven by gains in other land transport, as well as air transport. Gains were also made in the trade sector.


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