SA unemployment rate ticks up to 11 year high of 29.1 percent

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JOHANNESBURG, October 29 – South Africa’s unemployment rate edged up to 29.1 percent of the labour force in the third quarter of the year, the highest in more than 11 years, from 29 percent in the second quarter, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.

This is the highest unemployment rate since Statistics South Africa started measuring unemployment using a quarterly labour force survey in 2008, the agency said.

It said the number of jobless people in the country had increased to 6.7 million in the third quarter from 4.5 million during the same period a decade ago.

Compared with the second quarter, the number of employed persons increased by 62,000 in Q3 while that of the unemployed was up by 78,000 resulting in an increase of 141,000 in the labour force.

Formal sector employment increased by 43,000, agriculture was up by 38 000 and jobs in the private household sector rose by 35,000 but the informal sector shed 53,000 jobs.

The data showed black African women were the most vulnerable with an unemployment rate of over 30 percent, while mixed-race South Africans known as coloureds were sitting at a jobless rate of 23.7 percent and South Africans of Indian/Asian ancestry were at 18.2 percent.

Statistics South Africa said the expanded unemployment rate, including people discouraged from looking for work, was unchanged at 38.5 percent in the third quarter.

– African News Agency (ANA)