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Unemployment in South Africa declines by 72,000, reaching 7.8 million in Q3-2023

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke - Image source GCIS.

In a recent release of data from Statistical South Africa's Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), South Africa is experiencing favourable developments in its employment landscape, signifying potential strides in economic recovery. 

One of the standout revelations is the substantial decrease in the official unemployment rate, witnessing a drop from 32.6% in the second quarter of 2023 to 31.9% in the third quarter—a notable reduction of 0.7 percentage points. This decline reflects positive trends, suggesting advancements in job creation and enhanced economic stability during this period. 

Accompanying this decline in unemployment, the third quarter saw a significant increase in the number of employed individuals, rising by 399,000 to reach 16.7 million. This surge is particularly noteworthy when compared to the second quarter figure of 16.3 million, indicating a robust upswing in employment opportunities. 

The report also sheds light on a decrease in the unemployment rate according to the expanded definition. This broader measure, encompassing discouraged work-seekers, declined by 0.9 percentage points, settling at 41.2% in Q3-2023 compared to Q2-2023. While this rate remains elevated, the downward trend suggests progress in addressing comprehensive challenges associated with unemployment. 

These positive shifts in both official and expanded unemployment rates offer encouraging signs for South Africa's economic recovery. Ongoing initiatives to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and address structural labour market issues seem to be yielding positive outcomes. 

Despite these improvements, challenges persist in the labour market, necessitating sustained efforts for continued progress. Subsequent quarters will be closely monitored to gauge the longevity and impact of these positive trends. 

As South Africa endeavours on its path to economic recovery, the insights gleaned from the Q3-2023 Labour Force Survey instil a sense of optimism for the evolving employment scenario in the nation. 

Read more HERE.

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