Unemployment rate drops to 24.1% as state hires workers

2014-02-11 12:49

South Africa’s unemployment rate, which is the highest of more than 40 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg, fell last quarter to 24.1% as the government and informal industries added jobs.

The rate declined from a revised 24.5% in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released today in Pretoria.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of six economists was 24.9%. The number of people without jobs fell by 50 000 to 4.8 million.

The economy has lost jobs since last year as strikes in mining and manufacturing and a slump in global demand crimped exports.

The ANC has pledged to create six million jobs over the next five years.

“Quarterly employment growth of 141 000 was supported to a large extent by the informal sector,” the statistics office said in its statement. “Most of the jobs gained were short-term contractual agreements suggesting they may be temporary in nature.”

Employment in community and social services industries, which includes the government, increased by 97 000 last quarter from the previous three months, while the retail and wholesale trade industries added 40 000 jobs, the statistics agency said.

The construction industry boosted employment by 59 000.

The economy is set to expand 2.8% this year compared with 1.9% in 2013, according to forecasts from the central bank, which raised the benchmark repurchase rate last month for the first time since June 2008 to 5.5%.

The biggest job losses came from the financial services industry, which fell by 23 000, and agriculture, which declined by 27 000. Manufacturing, which makes up about 15% of the economy, shed 12 000 jobs in the quarter.

President Jacob Zuma on December 18 signed into law a tax incentive program to help reduce joblessness among young people, even as labour unions criticised the plan.

The unemployment rate is compiled from a household survey covering the formal and informal industries.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.