Based on revised estimates, in quarter 4 of 2013, employment levels rose to 15,2 million – surpassing the peak reached in quarter 4 of 2008 during the pre-recession period. However, quarterly job gains of 141 000 in quarter 4 of 2013 were largely due to an increase in informal sector employment of 123 000. In addition, most of the increase was among people with temporary and short-term contracts. Despite the rise in employment numbers, the proportion of working-age South Africans with jobs at 43,3% is still below the pre-recession peak of 46,2% observed in quarter 4 of 2008
The increase in employment and a decline in unemployment of 50 000 in quarter 4 of 2013 resulted in a fall in the unemployment rate to 24,1% from 24,5% in the previous quarter. Compared with the previous quarter, employment levels rose in five of the ten industries in quarter 4 of 2013. The largest job gains were recorded in the Community and social services industry (97 000) followed by the Construction industry (59 000). Job losses were recorded in the Agriculture (27 000) and Finance and other business services (23 000) industries.
Year-on-year, employment levels rose for twelve consecutive quarters. In quarter 4 of 2013 alone, job gains were 653 000.
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