Media release:Quarterly Labour Force Survey – QLFS Q4:2016

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                             14 February 2017

The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the fourth quarter of 2016 released by Statistics South Africa today, indicate that employment grew by 235 000 and the number of job seekers declined by 92 000 resulting in slight decline in the unemployment rate by 0,6 of percentage point to 26,5%.

The growth in employment was mainly driven by Services industry which grew by 73 000, followed by Transport and Manufacturing which grew by 46 000 and 44 000 respectively. All other industries reported employment growth quarter to quarter except Mining and Construction which declined by 17 000 and 9 000 respectively.

The official unemployment rate declined by 0,6 of a percentage point quarter-to-quarter to 26,5% however this is still 2,0 percentage points higher compared to the same period last year.

Unemployment rate declined in four of the nine provinces with North West registering the biggest decline of 4.0 percentage points. Other provinces which reported a decline in unemployment rates included Limpopo (2,6 percentage points), Western Cape (1,2 percentage points) and Gauteng (0,5 of a percentage point).

The expanded unemployment which includes those who wanted to work but did not look for work decreased by 116 000, resulting in a decline of 0,7 of a percentage point in the expanded unemployment rate to 35,6%. However, this is still 8,9 million persons who did not have work but wanted to work.

The youth (aged 15-34) remain vulnerable in the labour market with unemployment rate of 37,1% which is 10,6 percentage points above the national average. However, youth unemployment rate registered a decline of 1,1 percentage points quarter-to-quarter.

Education plays an important role in labour market outcomes, those with education level of less than matric contribute 59% of the unemployed with unemployment rate of 31,2%.  On the other hand the unemployment rate among graduates was 7,0% in Q4:2016.

Issued by Statistics South Africa


For technical enquiries, contact:

Mrs Kefiloe Masiteng

Deputy Director-General: Population and Social Statistics

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Mr Peter Buwembo

Chief Director: Labour Statistics

Tel:  012 310 8688


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