Unemployment remains unchanged at 27.7%

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Job seekers visit an employment center in San Francisco, November 20, 2009.
REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

The South African economy is failing to create jobs according to Statistics South Africa.

South Africa’s unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 27.7% according to the latest labour force survey for the third quarter of 2017.

Statistics South Africa survey shows that although employment grew by 92 000 this was offset by additional 33 000 job seekers during the same period.

All sectors recorded employment growth except for manufacturing which declined by 50 000, construction by 30 000 and agriculture by 25 000 jobs, respectively.

The latest unemployment numbers shows an economy failing to create jobs. Unemployment has continued to increase and is at its highest rate in 14 years.

There are currently 6.2 million South Africans without work this quarter.

Statistician General Pali Lehohla says he is concerned about the low mood of unemployment.

“Labour market quarter three, we know that there are 37 million people who are in the age group 13-64 and 22 million of them are in the labour force and 15 million are not economically active. They are house wives, house husbands and 16.2 million are employed and 6.2 million are unemployed, year on year employment mimics the GDP. There are some relationships between these numbers.”

Stats SA says poverty has increased because of unemployment.

“Unemployment, as a driver of poverty, has actually accelerated in the past five years. In the ten years, 2001 to 2011, it grew from 33% to 40% as a driver of poverty.”

The largest decline in jobs was recorded in Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

“In Limpopo, you can see unemployment rate is 19%, expanded 25%. In urban provinces, unemployment rate and expanded unemployment are fairly close.”

Growth in employment was driven by finance and other businesses services sector which grew by 68 000, followed by community, social and personal services. Manufacturing, construction and agriculture continued to shed jobs.

“Quarter on quarter in agriculture that declined by 32 000, so had jobs in the informal sector. Formal sector had a net increase at 92 000. Heavy losses in agriculture; when you look on year on year and the construction 127 000 and those are the real sectors. So, there are losses there. ”

Unemployment for matriculates increased from 52% to 56%. Less educated citizens are more likely to be unemployed while those with education level of less than matric contribute almost 60% of the unemployed.

The youth aged 15-34 remain the most vulnerable in the labour market. While unemployment remains higher for women, unemployment has remained at 25% levels since 2010.