Unemployment rate climbs to 32.9% ahead of elections

Unemployment rate climbs to 32.9% ahead of elections

South Africa’s unemployment rate increased from 32.1% in the last quarter of 2023 to 32.9% in the first quarter of 2024. 

No jobs sign in SA  unemployement STATS SA
Unsplash/Hennie Stander

Statistics South Africa announced on Tuesday that the official unemployment rate increased by 0.8% ahead of the hotly contested general election on May 29. 


The Director of Labour Statistics, Dihlolelo Phoshoko, said 215,000 fewer people were economically active compared to the previous quarter. 


"Provinces that recorded increases in unemployment were KZN with 35,000, Gauteng with 26,000 and Northern Cape with 4,000. Decreases in employment were recorded in the Western Cape, North West, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Limpopo. The Free State employment rate remained unchanged.”


The latest stats show that even more young people are without a job. 


"The number of employed youth decreased by 7,000 to 5.9 million, while the number of unemployed youth increased by 236 000 to 4.9 million, resulting in the youth unemployment increasing by 1.3 of a percentage point to 45.5% in the first quarter of 2024," Phoshoko said. 


Formal sector employment increased by 56,000 in the first quarter, while informal sector employment decreased by 100,000 over the same period.


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