Unemployment rate remains at highest level since 2008

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iStock

The official unemployment numbers for the fourth quarter of 2019 remained unchanged at 29.1% - the highest rate since 2008 -  compared to the third quarter of 2019, Statistics South Africa announced on Thursday.

The number of employed persons increased by 45 000 to 16.4 million and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 8 000 to 6.7 million in the fourth quarter. There was  a resultant increase of 38 0000 employed people, according to Statistics SA's Quarterly Labour Force Survey.

The formal sector recording the largest employment increase of 117 000, followed by the agriculture sector, which employed 6,000 more people.

Employment in the informal sector declined by 77,000.

The labour force in the community and social services sector increased by 113 000, followed by finance (76 000) and transport with 36 000.Declines in employment were recorded in trade (159 000), manufacturing (39 000) and utilities (14 000).

Of the 20.4 million South Africans aged 15-34 years, 40.1% were not in employment, education or training (NEET) in the fourth quarter – a decrease of 0.3 of a percentage point compared to third quarter. 

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