South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021 from 32.5% in the previous period. It was the highest jobless rate since comparable data began in 2008. The number of unemployed persons increased by 8 thousand to 7.2 million, employment fell by 28 thousand to 15 million and the labour force went down by 20 thousand to 22.2 million. Total employment fell mostly in construction (-87 thousand), trade (-84 thousand), private households (-70 thousand), transportation services (-40 thousand) and agriculture (-18 thousand), but it rose sharply in financial services (+215 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was at 43.2%, up from 42.6% in the prior period. Also, the youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, hit a new record high of 63.3%. source: Statistics South Africa

Unemployment Rate in South Africa averaged 26.08 percent from 2000 until 2021, reaching an all time high of 32.60 percent in the first quarter of 2021 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 July of 2021.

Unemployment Rate in South Africa is expected to be 35.00 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 35.80 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 36.00 percent in 2022 and 35.00 percent in 2023, according to our econometric models.

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South Africa Unemployment Rate

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
32.60 32.50 32.60 21.50 2000 - 2021 percent Quarterly
SA


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
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%
2021-02-23 09:30 AM Q4 32.5% 30.8% 29.8%
2021-06-01 09:30 AM Q1 32.6% 32.5% 33.5%
2021-08-24 09:30 AM Q2 32.6% 35%
2021-11-30 09:30 AM Q3


News Stream
South Africa Jobless Rate Hits New Record High
South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021 from 32.5% in the previous period. It was the highest jobless rate since comparable data began in 2008. The number of unemployed persons increased by 8 thousand to 7.2 million, employment fell by 28 thousand to 15 million and the labour force went down by 20 thousand to 22.2 million. Total employment fell mostly in construction (-87 thousand), trade (-84 thousand), private households (-70 thousand), transportation services (-40 thousand) and agriculture (-18 thousand), but it rose sharply in financial services (+215 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was at 43.2%, up from 42.6% in the prior period. Also, the youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, hit a new record high of 63.3%.
2021-06-01
South Africa Jobless Rate Hits Record High in Q4
South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from 30.8% in the previous period. It was the highest jobless rate since comparable data began in 2008, with more people entering the labour market and actively looking for jobs. Still, the market is not creating sufficient jobs to absorb enough people of working age into employment. The number of unemployed persons increased by 701 thousand to 7.2 million, employment rose by 333 thousand to 15 million and the labour force went up by 1 million to 22.3 million. Total employment rose mostly in community and social services (+170 thousand), construction (86 thousand) and private households (+76 thousand), but it fell in finance (-123 thousand) and mining (-35 thousand). The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for a work, was at 42.6%, down from 43.1% in the prior period.
2021-02-23
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 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.