Slight decline in the unemployment rate: Stats SA

14 February 2017 - 14:30 By Sipho Mabena
Image: iStock

South Africa has recorded a positive growth in the job market during the last quarter of 2016‚ with employment growing by 235 000 and the number of job seekers declining by 92 000.

According to the results of the Statistics SA's Quarterly Labour Force Survey released in Pretoria on Tuesday‚ the positive growth resulted in the slight decline in the unemployment rate by 0‚6% of percentage point to 26‚5%.

The growth was mainly driven by the services industry which grew by 73,000‚ followed by transport and manufacturing which grew by 46,000 and 44,000 respectively.

All other sectors reported employment growth quarter to quarter except mining and construction which declined by 17,000 and 9000 respectively.

The results released by Statistician-General Pali Lehohla‚ indicate that though the official unemployment rate declined by 0.6 of a percentage point quarter to quarter to 26‚5%‚ it is still 2‚0 percentage points higher compared to the same period last year.

Unemployment rate declined in four of the nine provinces‚ with the North West registering the biggest decline of 4.0 percentage points‚ followed by Limpopo at 2.6 percentage points‚ Western Cape at 1.2 percentage point and Gauteng at 0.5 a percentage point.

The results indicate that the expanded unemployment which includes those who wanted to work but did not look for work decreased by 116,000‚ resulting in a decline of 0.7 of a percentage point in the expanded unemployment rate to 35‚6%.

However‚ there are still 8.9 million people who wanted jobs but had none.

Though youth unemployment registered a decline of 1.1 percentage points quarter to quarter‚ young people‚ aged between 15-34‚ remain the most vulnerable in the labour space‚ with joblessness rate in this cohort at 37.1%-10.6 percentage points above the national average.

Lehohla reiterated that education played an important role in the labour market outcomes‚ saying those with education level of less than matric contribute 59% of the unemployed‚ with an unemployment rate of 31‚2%.

He said the power of education manifests itself with the unemployment rate of 7‚0% amongst graduates in the last quarter of 2016.

- TMG Digital/The Times