The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the third quarter of 2017 released by Statistics South Africa today, indicate that employment grew by 92 000 in Q3:2017, however this was offset by an additional 33 000 job-seekers during the same period, resulting in a stable unemployment rate of 27,7%.
The growth in employment was mainly driven by Finance and other business services industry which grew by 68 000, followed by Community, social and personal services (56 000) and Transport (34 000). All other industries reported employment growth quarter-to-quarter except Manufacturing, Construction and Agriculture which declined by 50 000, 30 000 and 25 000 respectively.
The official unemployment rate remained unchanged quarter-to-quarter at 27,7%, however this is still 0,6 of a percentage point higher compared to the same period last year. The largest decline in the unemployment rate was recorded in Free State (down by 2,6 percentage points), Limpopo (down by 1,7 percentage points) and Mpumalanga (down by 1,6 percentage points).
The expanded unemployment rate which includes those who wanted to work but did not look for work increased by 0,2 of a percentage point in Q3: 2017 to 36,8%.
The less educated are more likely to be unemployed. Those with education level of less than matric contribute 57,4% of the unemployed with unemployment rate of 32,6%.
The youth (aged 15-34) remain vulnerable in the labour market. Youth (15-34 years) unemployment rate was 38,6% which is 10,9 percentage points above the national average. However, youth unemployment rate registered a decline of 0,6 of a percentage point quarter-to-quarter. Of the 10,3 million young persons aged 15-24 years, about 30% were not in employment, education or training.
Issued by Statistics South Africa
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