The fourth quarter of 2018 has seen a decrease in South Africa’s unemployment rate.
This according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) (PDF) which earlier this week released its figures for the fourth quarter of 2018. To that end the unemployment rate is marginally down to 27.1 percent, compared to the third quarter which was 27.5 percent.
Stats SA also notes that the number of unemployed persons for the fourth quarter declined by 70 000 to 6.1 million, while the number of employed persons increased by 149 000 to 16.5 million.
“This resulted in an increase of 79 000 (up by 0.3 percent) in the number of people in the labour force, the absorption rate increased by 0.2 percent point to 43.3 percent and the unemployment rate declined by 0.4 percent to 27.1 percent compared to the third quarter of 2018,” said statistician general, Risenga Maluleke, during a media briefing.
Maluleke stated that out of the four employment sectors, three of the sectors showed increase in employment with the formal sector recording the largest employment gains. In particular the formal sector saw 92 000 newly employed people, followed by private households with 65 000 and agriculture with 7 000, while the informal sector declined by 15 000 jobs.
According to the report five out of the nine provinces recorded gains in employment too, with Gauteng at 86 000, Free State with 33 000 and the Western Cape at 26 000. The Eastern Cape and North West recorded the largest unemployment losses with 15 000 and 6 000 job losses.
Whether this decline can continue during 2019 remains to be seen.