Slight drop in unemployment rate at end of 2018 — Stats SA

South Africa’s unemployment rate has decreased by 0.4 percentage points from 27.5% in the third quarter in 2018 to 27.1% at the end of the year.

This is according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) on Tuesday. These surveys are conducted every three months and measure changes in the labour force from quarter to quarter and over longer periods of time.

According to the Stats SA, there are 38.1-million people of working age (15-64) in the country and of this number, 16.5-million are employed, 6.1-million are unemployed and 12.6 million are not economically active due to a variety of reasons including being discouraged by seeking for jobs to no avail. The 16.5-million people that are working is an increase by 149 000 from the third quarter.

The largest employment increases were recorded in the Gauteng, Free State and Western Cape provinces while the Eastern Cape and North West recorded the most job losses. And while the 0.4 percentage point decrease is from quarter three to four nationally in 2018, the unemployment rate increased in two provinces: Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

The largest employment gains were recorded in the finance, private household and manufacturing sectors while the largest losses were found in the community and social services, transport, utilities and construction sectors.


The percentage of people between the ages of 15 to 24 who are not employed or receiving an form of education is at 31.1%.

READ MORE: SA unemployment on the rise — Stats SA

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