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SA unemployment rate hits highest level since 2017 at 27.6%

South Africa's unemployment rate has risen to its highest level since the third quarter of 2017 to 27.6% at the end of the first quarter of 2019, according to data released by Stats SA on Tuesday.

Picture: Flickr.com

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's unemployment rate has risen to its highest level since the third quarter of 2017 to 27.6% at the end of the first quarter of 2019, according to data released by Stats SA on Tuesday.

The number of employed people has decreased by 237,000 to 16.3 million in the first quarter of this year, while the number of those unemployed has increased by 62,000 to 6.2 million from the fourth quarter of 2018.

Economist Goolam Balim said these figures were expected.

“The unemployment rate has hovered between 27% and 28% for a length of time. The fact that it increased symbolically is unwelcome and unhealthy. But with the growth anticipated, at a little less than 1%, the idea that the unemployment rate would increase was anticipated.”