Unemployment at record high for third quarter in a row

Cape Town - The unemployment rate in South Africa was stable at 27.7% for the third quarter in a row, although still at record high levels last seen in 2003, Statistics South Africa announced on Tuesday.

The quarterly labour force survey results showed there was a 92 000 growth in employment in the third quarter, but the number was offset by 33 000 extra job seekers during the period.

Although the jobless rate remained the same at 27.7%, it is 0.6 of a percentage point higher than the same period last year.

The expanded unemployment rate, which includes those who wanted to work, but stopped looking for jobs, increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 36.8% in the third quarter. This number now stands at 9.4 million people and represents a 118 000 increase from the second quarter of this year. 

The latest figures show that 6.2 million South Africans are currently without work. Of the current 15 million non-economically active people in the country, 2.4 million were discouraged work seekers – a 75 000 increase from the second quarter of 2017.

The biggest contributors to job growth were in the finance and other business sectors (68 000) and the community, social and personal services sectors (56 000). However, altogether 105 000 jobs were shed in the manufacturing, construction and agriculture sectors.

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