South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 30.8% in the third quarter of 2020 from 23.3% in the previous period, though below market expectations of 33.4%. It was the highest jobless rate since quarterly data became available in 2008, with more people searching for work amid the easing of lockdown restrictions. The number of unemployed people rose by 2.2 million to 6.5 million, employment went up by 543 thousand to 14.7 million and the labour force increased by 2.8 million to 21.2 million. Total employment only decreased in utilities (-23 thousand) and transportation (-7 thousand), but rose mostly in trade (62 thousand), finance (200 thousand), community and social services (137 thousand) and private households (116 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was at 43.1%, up from 42% in the prior period. source: Statistics South Africa

Unemployment Rate in South Africa averaged 25.89 percent from 2000 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 30.80 percent in the third quarter of 2020 and a record low of 21.50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. This page provides - South Africa Unemployment Rate - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. South Africa Unemployment Rate - data, historical chart, forecasts and calendar of releases - was last updated on December of 2020.

Unemployment Rate in South Africa is expected to be 25.80 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Unemployment Rate in South Africa to stand at 26.50 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 26.00 percent in 2021 and 27.00 percent in 2022, according to our econometric models.

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South Africa Unemployment Rate

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
30.80 23.30 30.80 21.50 2000 - 2020 percent Quarterly
SA


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2020-02-11 09:30 AM Q4 29.1% 29.1% 28.5%
2020-06-23 09:30 AM Q1 30.1% 29.1% 29.7% 29.6%
2020-09-29 09:30 AM Q2 23.3% 30.1% 34.9%
2020-11-12 09:30 AM Q3 30.8% 23.3% 33.4% 33.5%
2021-02-11 09:30 AM Q4 30.8%
2021-06-23 09:30 AM Q1
2021-09-29 09:30 AM Q2
2021-11-12 09:30 AM Q3


News Stream
South Africa Jobless Rate Hits Record High in Q3
South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 30.8% in the third quarter of 2020 from 23.3% in the previous period, though below market expectations of 33.4%. It was the highest jobless rate since quarterly data became available in 2008, with more people searching for work amid the easing of lockdown restrictions. The number of unemployed people rose by 2.2 million to 6.5 million, employment went up by 543 thousand to 14.7 million and the labour force increased by 2.8 million to 21.2 million. Total employment only decreased in utilities (-23 thousand) and transportation (-7 thousand), but rose mostly in trade (62 thousand), finance (200 thousand), community and social services (137 thousand) and private households (116 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was at 43.1%, up from 42% in the prior period.
2020-11-12
South Africa Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Falls to 11-Year Low
South Africa's unemployment rate fell to 23.3% in the second quarter of 2020 from 30.1% in the previous period. It was the lowest jobless rate since the second quarter of 2009, as the country's strict lockdown distorted labour force numbers with fewer people actively looking for employment. Accordingly, labour force decreased by 5 million to 18.4 million and the number of unemployed declined by 2.8 million to 4.3 million. Meantime, employment fell by 2.2 million to 14.1 million, the most since the survey began in 2008. Total employment dropped across all of the 10 industries, with the largest decreases recorded in community and social services (-515 thousand), followed by trade (-373 thousand), private households (-311 thousand), finance (-283), construction (-278), manufacturing (-250 thousand) and transport (-110 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was at 42%, up from 39.7% in the prior period.
2020-09-29
South Africa Q1 Jobless Rate Jumps to Record High
South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 30.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020 from 29.1 percent in the previous period and above market expectations of 29.7 percent. It was the highest jobless rate on record since quarterly data became available in 2008, as the number of unemployed people increased by 344 thousand to an all-time high of 7.1 million. Employment fell by 91 thousand to 16.38 million from 16.42 million in the prior quarter. Total employment dropped in 7 out of the 10 industries, with the largest declines recorded in the finance industry (-50 thousand), followed by community and social services (-33 thousand), agriculture (-21 thousand), transport (-17 thousand), manufacturing (-15 thousand), construction (-7 thousand), and utilities (-4 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was at 39.7 percent, up from 38.7 percent in the prior period.
2020-06-23
South Africa Jobless Rate Steady at 11-Year High
South Africa's unemployment rate held steady at 29.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, unchanged from the previous month's 11-year high, as the number of unemployed people dropped only by 8 thousand to 6.7 million. Employment increased by 45 thousand to 16.42 million from 16.38 million in the prior period, likely influenced by the festive season. Total employment went up in six of the 10 industries, with the largest increases recorded in community and social services (113 thousand), followed by finance (76 thousand) and transport (36 thousand). Declines were recorded in the trade (-159 thousand), manufacturing (-39 thousand) and utilities (-14 thousand) sectors, as a result of severe power cuts. The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was 38.7 percent, up slightly from 38.5 percent in the previous quarter. Also, the youth unemployment rate dropped to 58.1 percent from 58.2 percent in the previous period.
2020-02-11

South Africa Unemployment Rate
In South Africa, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.