SA’s jobs data improvement a good sign despite economic challenges

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Economists have described as positive the improvement of the jobs data despite the country’s tough economic conditions.

The data which Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) released yesterday, shows that the economy has made it possible for the creation of almost 400 000 jobs in the third quarter of this year. This implies that the unemployment rate has fallen to 31.9%.

StatsSA says sectors that recorded employment losses are mining, manufacturing, transport and utilities. However, jobs were created in industries such as finance, community and social services and agriculture.

Economist Thanda Sithole welcomes the new figures.

Sithole says, “I think the numbers are good, reflecting that the South African labor market per market is? Despite economic growth weaknesses, the economy added close to 400 000 jobs on a quarter on quarter basis in the third quarter and if you look at the past eight quarters, the economy has actually gained close to 2.5 million jobs. This is despite the economy experiencing challenges related to load shedding and other infrastructure inefficiencies. So, I think the numbers will paint and I think they are making,” adds Sithole.

The improvement in the jobs data is a positive sign for the South African economy. However, it is important to note that the unemployment rate is still very high according to StatsSA.

South Africa’s unemployment rate fell to 31.9% in Q3 of 2023, the lowest in a year, from 32.6% in the prior period. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 72 000 to 7.8 million, the employed rose by 399 000 to 16.7 million and the labor force went up by 326 000 to 24.6 million.

Additionally, the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement fell by 160 000 to 13.1 million, while discouraged work-seekers dropped by 26 000 to 3.2 million.


SA’s unemployment rate declines in Q3