Media Release QLFS Q3 2016

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                             22 November 2016

                                       Quarterly Labour Force Survey – QLFS Q3:2016

The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the third quarter of 2016 released by Statistics South Africa today, indicate that employment grew by 288 000 after two successive quarterly declines. However, the growth in employment was offset by the increase in the number of people looking for work by 239 000, resulting in a rise in the unemployment rate by 0,5 of a percentage point to 27,1%.

The growth in employment was mainly driven by Construction and Finance & other business services which grew by 104 000 and 103 000 respectively. This was followed by Trade with a growth of 61 000 and Agriculture which added 56 000 jobs. However, Community & social services and Manufacturing lost jobs by 45 000 and 28 000 respectively. Mining lost 9 000 jobs in Q3:2016, this was after two successive quarterly losses.

The official unemployment rate increased by 0,5 of a percentage point quarter-to-quarter and 1,6 percentage points year-on-year. Quarterly increases in the official unemployment rate were observed in six of the nine provinces, with the largest increase in North West (3,2 percentage points), Northern Cape (2,2 percentage points), and Free State (1,9 percentage points). It should be noted that the rise in unemployment rate in Northern Cape was not driven by job losses but mainly due to an increase in the number of job-seekers. However, in Free State and North West the increase in unemployment rate followed a decline in employment and an increase in job-seekers. Over the same period, the official unemployment rate declined in Western Cape and Eastern Cape (0,5 of a percentage point each) and Gauteng (0,4 of a percentage point).

The expanded unemployment rate which includes those who wanted to work but did not look for work decreased by 0,1 of a percentage point quarter-to-quarter to 36,3%.

The youth (aged 15-34) remain vulnerable in the labour market with unemployment rate of 38,2% which is 11,1 percentage points above the national average.

Education plays an important role in labour market outcomes, those with education level of less than matric contribute 60% of the unemployed with unemployment rate of 31,6%.  On the other hand the unemployment rate among those with tertiary education was 13,2% in Q3:2016.

Issued by Statistics South Africa

For technical enquiries, contact:

Mrs Kefiloe Masiteng

Deputy Director-General: Population and Social Statistics

Tel: 012 310 2109


Mr Peter Buwembo

Chief Director: Labour Statistics

Tel:  012 310 8688


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Ms Lesedi Dibakwane

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