Slight gain in SA’s job numbers

Mine workers' clothing. File picture
Mine workers' clothing. File picture
Image: Gallo Images/ iStockphoto

SA’s unemployment rate improved in the fourth quarter, as is usually expected for a time that brings a temporary boost thanks to the holiday season.

Unemployment from September to December fell by 0.4 of a percentage point to 27.1%, Statistics SA said in its quarterly labour force survey on Tuesday.

Investec economist Kamilla Kaplan said: “Traditionally, seasonal hiring in the services sectors in the last quarter results in an improvement in the number of those employed.”

The statistics come a day before Cosatu embarks on a nationwide strike to highlight the high unemployment rate and job losses the country is experiencing, ahead of the budget speech next week.

The data showed the working-age population increased by 149,000 in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter. The number of unemployed decreased by 70,000 to 6.1-million.

Employment gains were recorded in five of the nine provinces. However, the Eastern Cape (15,000) and North West (6,000) recorded the largest employment losses.