Slight improvement in unemployment rate

The unemployment rate fell to 24,5% in last year’s 4th quarter compared to 25,5% in the quarter before.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There's been a slight improvement in unemployment with the rate falling to 24,5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

This is compared to 25,5 percent in the quarter before.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) says this amounts to 5,2 million people without work compared to 5,4 million previously.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his Budget speech yesterday that government was undertaking a number of measures to promote job creation.

In his budget yesterday, he cited business and communication services along with tourism as major contributors.

The Small Business Development Department will also receive R475 million to assist small and medium enterprises.

However, the government has a long way to go with the expanded definition of employment at 33,8 percent in the fourth quarter from 34,4 percent in the quarter before.

The expanded definition unemployment includes people who have simply stopped looking for work indicating that job creation remains a major concern.