Unemployment rate unchanged in Q1

While both unemployment and employment saw an increase of 100 000 and 206 000 people, respectively, in the first quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 26.7% in comparison to the fourth quarter in 2017.

This according to Statistics South Africa’s latest quarterly labour force survey which noted that since 2013, the first quarter usually showed an increase in unemployment with seven out of the nine provinces registering an increase in unemployment this year.

The largest rise in unemployment was recorded in Mpumalanga (3.5%), the Northern Cape (2.4%) and the North West (1.9%).

However, on a year-on-year basis, the official unemployment rate declined by 1%.

The largest contributors to the increase in employment were the community and social services, manufacturing, construction, trade and finance. Although employment declines were recorded in the transport, mining, utilities and agriculture sectors.

Additionally, the survey found that the working-age population had increased by 0.4% in the first quarter of this year.

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