First quarter unemployment rate highest in eight years

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 9, 2016

Unemployment in South Africa reached new highs during the first quarter of 2016 with joblessness reaching its highest level since the survey first started in 2008.

According to the latest report by Statistics South Africa, unemployment increased by 2.2% over the first four months of the year, to 26.7% compared to the last year’s 24.5%. The findings also revealed that 521 000 people were made redundant between the final quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016, with employment going down by 355 000.

Industries also took a pounding over the above mentioned periods with those hardest hit including Trade (-119 000), Manufacturing (-100 000), Construction (-77 000), Finance and other businesses (-55 000) and Private households (-43 000). Increase were however posted in Agriculture (+16 000) and Community and social services (+51 000) sectors.

On a provincial scale, unemployment went up in seven provinces between Q4 2015 and Q1 2016, with the highest being recorded in Gauteng (-195 000), North West (-46 000), the Eastern Cape (-44 000), Free State (-41 000) and KwaZulu-Natal. Gains were posted in Limpopo (+62 000) and the Northern Cape (+1 000).

Metro-wise, the eThekwini Metro in KwaZulu-Natal fared the worst employing people (-12.8%), followed by Ekurhuleni in Gauteng (-8.9%), Buffalo City in the Eastern Cape (-5.8%), Mangaung in the Free State (-5.7%) and the City of Tshwane in Gauteng (-2.4%). Increases of less than a percent were however posted in Nelson Mandela Bay (0.9%) and the City of Cape Town (+0.3%).

 

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