South Africa

Good news for South Africa’s unemployment rate

Statistics South Africa has published the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the third quarter of 2022.

The data shows that the country gained 204,000 between the second and third quarters of 2022, with the total number of persons employed up 1.3% to 15.8 million people.

The official unemployment rate decreased by 1.0 percentage points from 33.9% in the second quarter of 2022 to 32.9% in the third quarter of 2022. The unemployment rate, according to the expanded definition of unemployment, also decreased by 1.0 percentage points to 43.1%.

To better understand the observed large changes in the key labour market indicators between Q2: 2022 and Q3: 2022, Stats SA said that special tabulations were done to study movements between labour market statuses.

“It was observed that a large number of persons moved from the ‘unemployed’ category to the ’employed’ and ‘not economically active’ statuses between the two quarters, which resulted in a decrease in the unemployment rate,” the stats body said.

However, it noted that the labour force participation rate in Q3: 2022 was lower than that reported in Q2: 2022 as a result of these movements – decreasing by 0.3 of a percentage point to 58.3%.

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The absorption rate increased by 0.4 of a percentage point to 39.1% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the second quarter of 2022.

The number of unemployed persons decreased by 269,000 to 7.7 million, and discouraged work-seekers also decreased by 54,000 to 3.5 million in the third quarter.

According to Stats SA, the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement increased by 264,000 between the two quarters, however, resulting in a net increase of 210,000 in the not economically active population.

This was driven mainly by an influx of students, Stats SA said.

Job growth was recorded in Manufacturing (123,000), Trade (82,000), Construction (46,000) and Transport (33,000), which saw the most significant job gains.

Meanwhile, job losses were recorded in Finance (-80,000), Private households (-36,000) and Mining and Agriculture (-1,000) each.

Provincially, the number of employed persons increased in six provinces between Q2: 2022 and Q3: 2022.

The largest employment increases were recorded in Gauteng (136,000), Western Cape (85,000), KwaZulu-Natal (57,000) and Mpumalanga (32,000).

Employment losses were recorded in North West (-66,000), Limpopo (-55,000) and Free State (-9,000) during the same period.

North West recorded the biggest quarter-to-quarter change in employment with a decrease of 7.1%.

Read: Government considering new ‘job seeking’ grant for South Africa

Artmotion S.Africa

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