Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

SA’s unemployment rate spirals further into the record books

Joblessness in South Africa has reached its highest level since 2008 – 25.5% in the second quarter of 2014.

The unemployment rate rose by 0.3% from a rate of 25.2% in the first quarter of the year, Statistics South Africa reported in its quarterly labour force survey (QLFS), which was released on Tuesday.

“The number of unemployed persons increased by 87 000 over the second quarter of 2014 to 5.2-million, the highest level since the inception of the QLFS in 2008,” Stats South Africa (StatsSA) said. “This resulted in an increase in the unemployment rate to 25.5% … while the absorption rate remained virtually unchanged.”

The survey is based on households and data is collected on the labour-market activities of individuals between the ages of 15 and 64 years.

“The unemployment rate is four percentage points above the low of 21.5% observed in the final quarter of 2008,” StatsSA said.

In the second quarter of 2014, the number of discouraged jobseekers increased by 64 000 and the other (not economically active) group decreased by 35 000, resulting in net increase of 29 000 in the not economically active group as a whole compared with the first quarter of the year.

More employed than at the same time last year
More people are in fact being employed than before, but the unemployment rate has risen because the available labour force has grown more rapidly than the rate at which people have found employment.

StatsSA said gains in actual employment figures had been observed in both the first and second quarters of 2014, but the number of people employed was also growing at a decreasing rate.

“Compared to the same period last year, 403 000 more people were employed in the second quarter of 2014; this growth was 250 000 jobs lower than the growth observed in the fourth quarter of 2013 and 93 000 jobs lower than that observed in the first quarter of 2014.”

The unemployment rate rose as a result of a large increase of 126 000 in the labour force, compared with the much smaller increase of 39  000 in the number of employed people.

The data showed that the biggest job losses at both a quarterly and an annual rate were in the manufacturing and agriculture industries.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against the...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

Micro-hydropower lights up an Eastern Cape village

There is hidden potential for small hydropower plants in South Africa

More top stories

SIU freezes R22-million in Digital Vibes accounts

The Special Investigating Unit said it would ask the tribunal to declare the health department’s contract with the company unlawful

Life-saving free train travel offered to domestic abuse victims in...

A pioneering railway scheme in the UK is helping domestic violence victims to escape their abusers by providing them with free travel to reach refuge

Oral submissions to inquiry on local government elections start next...

The hearings will be open to the media and the public, under strict level-three regulations

Education employees queue for Covid jabs, but some may have...

People who have had Covid-19 in the past 30 days or who have had a flu shot in the past 14 days will be vaccinated at a later date
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×