SA’s job market continues to decline as unemployment rate soars

While the country’s working-age population continued to grow, increasing by 585,000 or 1.5% in the third quarter, the job market continued to contract.

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JOHANNESBURG - Only 543,000 more people joined the country’s labour force during the third quarter of the year following the 2.2 million job losses recorded in the second quarter.

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This is contained in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), which was released by Stats SA on Thursday showing that the unemployment rate stood at 30.8% and the expanded unemployment rate at 43.1%.

While the country’s working-age population continued to grow, increasing by 585,000 or 1.5% in the third quarter, the job market continued to contract.

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The unemployment rate is now the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke explained that the biggest contributors to the job losses were transport and utilities.

“All sectors were hit hard in terms of people who were not working because all sectors lost employment coming out of the first quarter. In the second quarter we had 2.2 million people who lost their jobs,” Maluleke said.

Meanwhile, the largest employment increases were observed in the formal sector followed by private households and the agricultural sector.

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