Unemployment rises as elections loom

According to the latest data from Statistics SA, the unemployment rate in South Africa rose to 32.9% in the first quarter of 2024, an increase from 32.1% in the previous quarter. 

This rise in unemployment comes as the country prepares for the national election on 29 May. 

This is the second consecutive quarter that the unemployment rate has increased, with an additional 330,000 people joining the unemployed, bringing the total to 8.2-million. 

Despite this, the number of employed people saw a slight increase of 22,000, reaching 16.7-million.

During the last election cycle, the unemployment rate was 29%, with 6.7-million unemployed people.

Sector-specific data shows that formal sector employment increased by 56,000 jobs, whereas the informal sector decreased by 100,000 jobs. 

Job losses happened primarily in community and social services, construction, finance, and utilities.

Trade, manufacturing, private households, transport, agriculture, and mining sectors reported job gains.

Young people between the ages of 15 and 34 continue to be affected, with their unemployment rate increasing to 45.5%, up from 44.3% in the previous quarter.

Compiled by staff writer

Pictured above: Searching for a job. 

Image source: Stock


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