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SA's unemployment rate hovers around 27 percent

This amounts to 5.714 million people without jobs in the first quarter, compared with 5.2 million previously.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's unemployment rate has risen to 26.7 percent of the labour force in the first quarter of this year.

This is the highest level since the labour force survey began in 2008.

The figure is up from 24.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Data from Statistics South Africa shows the unemployment has edged up to almost 27 percent.

This amounts to 5.714 million people without jobs in the first quarter, compared with 5.2 million previously.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, was at 36.3 percent in the first three months of this year.

That's compared to 33.8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.