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Lehohla: Unemployment rate rise driven by people looking for work

Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force survey in Pretoria on Thursday, which showed the unemployment rate was at 27.7%, the highest it has been since September 2003.

FILE: Statistician-General Pali Lehohla. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - Statistician-General Pali Lehohla says the increase in unemployment has been driven by the number of people entering the labour market looking for employment.

Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in Pretoria on Thursday, which showed the unemployment rate was at 27.7%, the highest it has been since September 2003.

Lehohla says the unemployment rate is not driven solely by people losing their jobs.

"It is also driven by the job search, that is the more people that come into the labour market looking for jobs, then that increases your unemployment."

He says while jobs are created in some sectors, job losses exceed those created.

Manufacturing experienced the biggest growth of 62,000 jobs, while mining was up by 26,000, it's first growth in four consecutive quarters.