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South Africa’s unemployment rate marginally down to 27.1%

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South Africa’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 of a percentage point to 27.1% for the fourth quarter of 2018, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has said.

This means that the number of employed persons increased by 149,000 to 16.5 million in the last quarter of 2018, while the number of unemployed persons declined by 70,000 to 6.1 million when compared to third quarter of 2018, the agency said on Tuesday, 12 February 2019.

Announcing the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey report at a media briefing in Pretoria, Statistician General Risenga Maluleke said this resulted in an increase of 79,000 (up by 0.3%) in the number of people in the labour force.

“The absorption rate increased by 0.2 % of a percentage point to 43.3% and the unemployment rate declined by 0.4 of a percentage point to 27.1% compared to the third quarter of 2018”, Maluleke said.

“Employment increased in three of the four sectors in quarter four, with the formal sector recording the largest employment gains of 92,000, followed by private households with 65,000 and agriculture with 7,000”, the senior official said.

“Informal sector employment, on the other hand, declined by 15,000 jobs”, he added.

“The industries that recorded declines in employment were community and social services, with 51,000 losses; transport with 30,000; utilities with 22,000, and construction with 21,000”, the statistician said.


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