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Unemployment rate improves to 33.9% in the second quarter

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Unemployment rate improves to 33.9% in the second quarter

Statistician-general Risenga Maluleke
Statistician-general Risenga Maluleke

23rd August 2022

By: Darren Parker
Senior Online Writer

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South Africa’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.6 of a percentage point quarter-on-quarter to 33.9% in the second quarter.

“Our economy is recovering, coming out of Covid-19, and we can see that it is making strides in terms of employment,” statistician-general Risenga Maluleke commented on August 23.

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Overall, the number of people employed in South Africa reached 15.6-million in the second quarter, Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA’s) latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey shows.

The sector showing the largest job gains of 276 000 was community and social services, followed by 169 000 new jobs recorded in trade, 128 000 new jobs in finance and 104 000 in construction – which Maluleke said was an indicator that the ailing construction sector was once again on the rise after years of depression.

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“We can’t say if the increase in construction jobs is sustainable. It could be an aberration but we only measure what we see,” he added.

Meanwhile, the transport sector lost 54 000 jobs, while manufacturing lost 73 000 jobs quarter-on-quarter.

In manufacturing, the job losses were attributed mainly to the food, beverage and tobacco products manufacturing subsectors, while wood products, electrical products and machinery manufacturing also decreased, Maluleke told Engineering News.

Meanwhile, unemployment according to the expanded definition, which includes those who have given up looking for a job, also decreased to 44.1% in the second quarter.

Further, the statistics showed that the youth remain vulnerable in the labour market. The total number of unemployed youth aged 15 to 34 increased by 92 000 quarter-on-quarter to 4.8-million in the second quarter.

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