Unemployment rate drops from 26.4% to 25% in second quarter

A group of men sit along a road looking for work. (SUNDAY TIMES)

Unemployment in South Africa surprisingly fell to 25% in the second quarter of this year from 26.4% in the first quarter as the economy created jobs even though economic growth is weak while business confidence is low, Statistics SA figures showed.

According to BusinessDay “Stats SA reported that 198,000 jobs were created in the second quarter, most of which were in the formal sector, including in the community and social services, construction, and trade”.

Jobs were shed in financial services, manufacturing and agriculture.

The formal sector added 39,000 jobs to 10.8-million in the second quarter while the informal sector created 177,000 jobs to 2.7-million.

Compared to the second quarter of last year, employment increased by 563,000 with the largest increases observed in construction, agriculture, and finance. Trade and transport industries recorded job losses.

The expanded unemployment rate, which includes people that have given up looking for work, fell by 1.2 percentage points to 34.9% in the second quarter.

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