South Africa’s unemployment rate hit a record again in the third quarter. Officially, 29.1% of South Africans of working age are now unemployed.
Extensive unemployment – which includes discouraged job seekers – remained unchanged at 38.5%.
More than 10.3 million South Africans are either looking for work or are already discouraging looking for work.
Those figures come from the third-quarter quarterly employment survey released by Statistics South Africa (SSA) on Tuesday.
In the second quarter, 29% of South Africans were unemployed and a year ago the figure was 1.6 percentage points lower at 27.5%.
Over the past ten years, the unemployment rate has risen by a whole 4.6 percentage points.
A huge problem is that most of the unemployed are not just unemployed for a while – 70.9% of the unemployed are now regarded as long-term unemployed. It is anyone who has been seeking unsuccessful work for more than a year.
Unemployment among young people also remains alarmingly high. 32.5% of 15- to 24-year-olds are not in school, not studying or have a job.
Compared to a year ago, two of the over four sectors that SSA measures have lost employees. Nearly 41,000 fewer people work in the formal sector and 22,000 fewer in the informal sector.
The number of people working in agriculture grew by 38,000 and those working in private households grew by 20,000.
The number of people with jobs has dropped by 5,000 to 16.4 million over the past year.
Just compared to the second quarter of 2019, the picture appears more promising. A total of 62,000 more people work.
In the formal sector, 43 000 more people work, in agriculture 38 000 more and in private households 35 000 more. However, the informal sector employs 38,000 fewer people than in the second quarter.