Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) – Q4:2019

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                   11 February 2020

                                       Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) – Q4:2019

The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the fourth quarter of 2019 indicate that the official unemployment rate remained unchanged (29,1%) compared to the third quarter of 2019. The results further indicate that the number of employed persons increased by 45 000 to 16,4 million and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 8 000 to 6,7 million in Q4: 2019 compared to Q3: 2019, resulting in an increase of 38 000 in the labour force.

The South African working-age population increased by 145 000 in Q4:2019 compared to Q3:2019. The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 62 000 and those who were not active in the labour market for other reasons other than discouragement increased by 45 000 resulting in a net increase of 107 000 in the number of those who were not economically active.

Employment increased in two of the four sectors in Q4: 2019. The formal sector recording the largest employment increase of 117 000 followed by Agriculture (6 000). Employment in the informal sector declined by 77 000  and remain unchanged in the Private households.

An increase of 45 000 in the number of people in employment in the fourth quarter of 2019 was mainly driven by Community and social services with 113 000, followed by Finance (76 000) and Transport with 36 000. Declines in employment were recorded in Trade (159 000), Manufacturing (39 000) and Utilities (14 000).

There were approximately 10,3 million persons aged 15–24 years in Q4:2019. The share of these young people who were not in employment, education or training (NEET) decreased by 0,4 of a percentage point from  32,3% in Q3:2019 to 32,0%  (3,3 million) in  Q4:2019. Of the 20,4 million young people aged 15-34 years, 40,1% were not in employment, education or training (NEET) in  Q4:2019 – a decrease of 0,3 of a percentage point compared to Q3:2019.


Issued by Statistics South Africa

For technical enquiries, contact:

Ms Gwen Lehloenya

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Ms Malerato Mosiane

Acting Chief Director: Labour Statistics

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Email: MaleratoM@statssa.gov.za


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