South Africa’s unemployment rate reaches record high of 35.3%

South Africa’s unemployment rate reaches record high of 35.3%

According to Stats SA, the official unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percent point to 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021 which has become the highest since the start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.

The fourth quarter of 2021 showed that the number of employed people increased by 262,000 to 14.5-million and the number of unemployed people also increased by 278,000 to 7.9-million in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2021.

Formal sector employment increased by 143,000 jobs between the last quarter and now while the informal sector shed jobs by 48,000 in the same period.

“These changes in the labour market resulted in the official unemployment rate increasing by 0.4 of a percentage point from 34.9% in the third quarter of 2021 to 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021 — the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008.

“The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment decreased by 0.4 of a percentage point to 46.2 % in quarter four 2021 compared to quarter three 2021,” the report said.

The working-age population increased by 143,000 in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape recorded expanded unemployment rates above 50% in the fourth quarter.

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