The latest Statistics SA data revealed that the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 of a percentage point, to 32.6% in the second quarter of 2023, compared to the previous three months.
StatsSA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) on Tuesday.
Director for the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Dihlolelo Phoshoko, said 154 000 jobs were added – taking the number of people with jobs to 16.3 million in the quarter.
The unemployment rate among graduates fell by 1 percentage point to 9.6% in the second quarter.
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The number of unemployed persons decreased by 11 000 to 7.9 million during the same quarter. Ten years ago, 5 million South Africans were unemployed. The proportion of those in long-term unemployment increased from 66.7% to 77.3% over the past ten years, while female unemployment increased from 27.5% to 35.7%.
In the second quarter of this year, the unemployment rate according to the expanded definition – which includes people who were available for work but not looking for a job – fell by 0.3 of a percentage point to 42.1%.
Construction (104 000) and trade (92 000) created the most jobs in the three months to end-June. However, the manufacturing and finance sectors saw large falls in employment.
The formal sector accounts for almost 70% of total employment.
Limpopo (80 000 more jobs), Western Cape (54 000) and KwaZulu-Natal (48 000) saw the largest employment increases.
The Northwest province had the highest expanded unemployment rate in the country, followed by Mpumalanga.
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Some 3.5 million (34.2%) out of 10.2 million young people aged 15-24 years were not in employment, education or training (NEET), but the total number of unemployed youth (15-34 years) decreased by 131 000 to 4.7 million, resulting in a 1.1 percentage point decrease in the youth unemployment rate to 45.3%.
StatsSA revealed that the unemployment rate remains highest among the black population, and that there were 2 million less women employed in the second quarter than men.