Unemployment rate hits 29%

July 30, 2019
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South Africa’s unemployment rate in Q2 2019 grew by 1.4% to 29%, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. The figure is the highest unemployment rate in the country in more than a decade. The highest level was 29,3% in March 2003.

In real terms, 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%.

In the same Q2, 21 000 more people were employed than in Q1.

The informal sector contributed 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.

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