South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 25.2% in the first quarter of 2013.
Kefiloe Masiteng of Stats SA said, “Unemployment increased by 100 000 to 4.6 million resulting in an increase in the unemployment rate to 25.2%.”
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey collects data on the labour market activities of individuals aged 15 years and above who live in South Africa.
In the fourth quarter of 2012 the country’s unemployment rate [which is the proportion of the labour force that is unemployed] declined to 24.9% from 25.5% in the third quarter.
Stats SA defines someone who is unemployed as:
- Aged between 15 to 64
- Who was not employed in the reference week of the QLFS
- Has been actively looking for work in the four weeks preceding the survey interview
- Is available for work or for starting a business.
More discouraged work seekers
The number of discouraged work seekers – people who were not employed during the reference period, wanted to work but did not take active steps to find work due to no jobs being available – increased by 73 000 people to 2.3 million in the first quarter.
The expanded unemployed rate was at 36.7%, the highest it has been since 2008. The expanded unemployment rate includes those who have stopped looking for work.
South Africa’s economy lost about one million jobs in the recession, while the highest level of employment (before the recession) at 14 million was seen in the fourth quarter of 2008.
There were a total 13.6 million people employed in the country.