South Africa’s unemployment rate increases to 29% in Q2 2019

hiring jobs unemployment south africa stats sa

Statistics South Africa on Tuesday gave South Africans yet another reason to feel depressed. The stats body in its quarterly labour report announced that South Africa’s unemployment rate in Q2 2019 grew by 1.4% to 29%.

This is the highest unemployment rate experienced in the country in more than a decade.

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6.7-million people in South Africa’s 23-million strong labour force were without a job in Q2 2019. Just 16.3-million were employed. 2.7-million people were regarded as “discouraged work seekers”, so this figure could be even larger depending on how you describe “unemployment”.

South Africa’s “expanded” unemployment rate — factoring in said discouraged work seekers and those with other reasons for not seeking jobs — sits at 38.5%.

The increased unemployment rate comes despite more jobs added to the economy. 21 000 more people were employed during this time than in Q1 2019.

The informal sector contrributed to 114 000 more jobs in Q2 2019, but employment in private households and the formal non-agricultural sectors plummeted by just under 100 000.

29% is the highest unemployment rate seen in South Africa in more than a decade

Trade, services, construction, and manufacturing were all positive contibutors to employment in South Africa. Transport, mining and finance were the biggest losers.

Limpopo had the lowest unemployment rate at 20.3% followed closely by the Western Cape with 20.4%. The latter had the lowest expanded unemployment rate at 23.8%.

The Eastern Cape featured both the highest unemployment rate (at 35.4%) and expanded unemployment rate (46.5%) in South Africa.

South Africa’s week of bad news could be further exasterbated later, when Eskom announces its earnings report.

At the time of writing, the rand remained much weaker than last week, trading at R14.22 to the US dollar.

Feature image: rawpixel via Pexels

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