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.

Unemployment Rate in South Africa averaged 25.85 percent from 2000 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 30.40 percent in the third quarter of 2002 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 September of 2020. source: Statistics South Africa

Unemployment Rate in South Africa is expected to be 34.70 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 36.20 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 36.00 percent in 2021 and 36.70 percent in 2022, according to our econometric models.

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South Africa Unemployment Rate

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
30.10 29.10 30.40 21.50 2000 - 2020 percent Quarterly
SA


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-07-30 09:30 AM Q2 29% 27.6% 27.80%
2019-10-29 09:30 AM Q3 29.1% 29% 29.1% 29.4%
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 30.1% 35%
2020-10-27 09:30 AM Q3 34.7%


News Stream
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 Jobless Rate at Over 11-Year High
The unemployment rate in South Africa edged up to 29.1 percent in the Q3 2019, its highest level since comparable data began in Q1 2008, matching market expectations. The number of unemployed rose by 78 thousand to 6.73 million while employment increased by 62 thousand to 16.38 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was lower at 27.5 percent.
2019-10-29

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.