10+ key figures you should know about South Africa’s unemployment crisis

unemployment south africa

There were few positives to draw from Statistics South Africa’s latest unemployment report published on Monday.

The number you need to know is 29.1%. That’s the latest percentage of working age South Africans unable to find a job, an increase of 0.1% over the previous quarter.

But the country’s job crisis is a little more complex than a percentage.

We delve into the innards of Stats SA’s unemployment report and give you some other key numbers and factoids you ought to know.

  • 29.1%: the current, and highest, recorded unemployment percentage since Stats SA began its Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
  • 25.4%: the unemployment percentage recorded in 2014.
  • 38.6-million: the number of people considered to be of working age — individuals between 15 and 64 years of age.
  • 78 000: the number of newly unemployed people in Q3 2019.
  • 62 000: the number of newly employed people in Q3 2019.
  • 141 000: the number of people that joined the country’s labour force in Q3 2019, a 0.6% increase over Q2 2019.
  • 6.7-million: the total number of people that are now unemployed in South Africa.
  • 70.9%: the percentage of those looking for a job considered to be “long-term” unemployed. This number has increased by more than 10% in the past decade.
  • 30.9%: the percentage of unemployed women in South Africa. 27.7% are men.
  • 43 000: the number of job additions in the formal sector in Q3 2019. Agriculture and mining added 38 000 jobs each in Q3 2019.
  • 122 000: the number of “professional” jobs added in Q3 2019 over Q2 2019.
  • 30 000: the number of jobs lost by the manufacturing industry in Q3 2019. Construction saw 24 000 job losses in the past quarter.
  • 58.2%: the percentage of South Africa’s youth (aged 15-24) currently unemployed. It remains the age group in South Africa with the highest portion of unemployed people.
  • 9.9%: the percentage of unemployed in the 55-64 age group. This group currently has the lowest unemployment rate of any age group.

For a more granular look at the country’s unemployment statistics, read the abbreviated and full Stats SA report here.

Feature image: Kateryna Babaieva via Pexels

Andy Walker, former editor


Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.