South Africa’s unemployment rate in 2023
South Africa’s unemployment rate has been one of the highest in the world for many years, reaching a record high of 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021. However, recent data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) show some signs of improvement in the labour market, as the unemployment rate fell to 32.9% in the third quarter of 2022 and further to 32.7% in the fourth quarter of 2022.
about South Africa’s unemployment rate, According to Stats SA, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 269 000 to 7.7 million and the number of discouraged work seekers also decreased by 54 000 to 3.5 million in the third quarter of 2022. Job gains were mainly observed in manufacturing, trade, construction and transport industries.
However, in the fourth quarter of 2022, the number of unemployed persons rose slightly by 28 000 to 7.8 million, while the number of employed persons increased by 169 000 to 15.9 million and the labour force went up by 197 000 to 23.7 million. Among sectors, finance, private households, trade and transport posted the largest job gains, while community and social services and construction and agriculture shed jobs.
The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes those discouraged from seeking work, was at 43.1% in the third quarter of 2022, down from 44.1% in the second quarter and 45.5% in the first quarter. It further declined to 42.6% in the fourth quarter of 2022. Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, fell to an over two-year low of 59.6% in the third quarter of 2022, but rose again to 61% in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The decline in the unemployment rate in South Africa is a welcome development, but it is still far from satisfactory. The country faces many challenges in creating more jobs and reducing poverty and inequality. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a severe impact on the economy and the labour market, causing disruptions and uncertainties for businesses and workers alike.
The government has implemented various measures to support the recovery and stimulate growth, such as infrastructure spending, tax relief, social grants and vaccination programmes. However, more needs to be done to address the structural issues that hinder job creation and skills development, such as education quality, labour market regulation, corruption and crime.
- Trading Economics (https://tradingeconomics.com/south-africa/unemployment-rate)
- Statistics South Africa (https://www.statssa.gov.za/?s=unemployment)