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Stats SA: EC, Mpumalanga have the highest unemployment rates

Statistician-general Risenga Maluleke released the quarterly labour force survey, which showed that unemployment rose to 29% in the second quarter of this year.

About 24,000 jobs were recovered in the construction industry.

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Stats SA on Tuesday revealed that the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga had the highest unemployment rate in the country.

Statistician-general Risenga Maluleke released the quarterly labour force survey, which showed that unemployment rose to 29% in the second quarter of this year.

Effectively, 6.7 million South Africans actively looking for employment remained jobless. The country’s unemployment rate reached its highest in more than a decade.

“The Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, the Free State and North West generally experience high unemployment rate,” Maluleke explained. But he added that some sectors of the economy did well.

“We have recovered 84,000 jobs in trade. We have recovered 48,000 jobs in social services. Also in the construction area, we recovered 24,000 jobs.”

Limpopo and the Western Cape have the lowest unemployment rate, at 20.3% and 20.4% respectively.

The survey revealed the Western Cape’s unemployment rate was down 0.3 percentage points. The unemployment rate decreased year-on-year in the province, dropping from 20,7% in the second quarter of 2018, to 20,4% in the second quarter of 2019.

DA spokesperson on the economy Deidre Baartman told Eyewitness News the province was performing well under difficult circumstances.

“We cannot afford to differ on economic development in our country.”

But Baartman warned the province was not immune to challenges at national level.

Meanwhile, African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule on Tuesday said the governing party would work towards combatting the increasing unemployment rate.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)