South Africa’s unemployment rate was 31.9% in the third quarter of 2023 as the number of employed people in the country grew to 16.7 million.
Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) today, which revealed that the country’s official unemployment rate was 31.9% in the third quarter of 2023.
This signifies a decrease of 0.7 percentage points from the 32.6% recorded in Q2 2023.
The number of employed people in the country increased by 399,000 to 16.7 million in Q3 2023 compared to 16.3 million in Q2 2023.
The number of unemployed persons decreased by 72,000 to 7.8 million during the same quarter.
In addition, the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 160,000 to 13.1 million, while discouraged work-seekers decreased by 26,000 in Q3 2023 compared to Q2.
This resulted in a net decrease of 186,000 in the not economically active population.
Employment has been increasing in the third quarter of each year since 2017, aside from a decline in 2021.
This was the eighth consecutive increase in employment since Q4 2021.
Between Q2 2023 and Q3 2023, the number of employed persons increased in six of the ten
The largest increases in employment were recorded in Finance (237,000), followed by Community and social services (119,000), Agriculture (61,000) and Construction (53,000).
In addition, following a decrease of 33,000 in Q2 2023, informal sector employment increased by 29,000 in Q3 2023.
Employment in the formal sector increased by 287,000 in Q3 2023 compared to Q2 2023.
However, decreases in employment were recorded in Manufacturing (50,000), Mining (35,000), Transport (20,000) and Utilities (16,000) industries.
According to the expanded definition, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.9 of a percentage point to 41.2% in Q3 2023 compared to Q2 2023.