SA unemployment rate ticks up to 32.6% in Q1 of 2021

This is the highest the figure has been since the start of the QLFS in 2008.

FILE: Unemployed builders, tilers and plumbers hold signs seeking jobs on the side of the road in Johannesburg in November 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Stats SA said that the number of employed people in the country remained almost unchanged at 15 million, although there was a slight decrease of 28,000, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2021 released by StatsSA on Tuesday.

The number of unemployed increased by 8,000 people and has remained almost unchanged at 7.2 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.

The changes resulted in the official unemployment rate increasing by 0.1 of a percentage point from 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021, the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008.

Unemployment increased by 0.6 of a percentage point to 43.2% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the expanded definition of unemployment.

Statistician general Risenga Maluleke said: “7.2 million unemployed, which has only decreased by only 8,000 people represents the unemployment of 32.6%, which increased from the previous quarter by 0.1 percentage point.”