The South African working-age population increased by 153 000 or 0.4% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. The rise in both employment (up by 206 000) and unemployment (up by 100 000) over the quarter led to the rise in the labour force participation rate now standing at 59.3%. The unemployment rate (26.7%) remained unchanged over the first quarter of 2018, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 according to StatsSA.
Youth unemployment is still high in South Africa and remains a global trend with the International Labour Organization (ILO) recording about 71 million unemployed youth, aged 15–24 years around the world in 2017. This also means that many youths face long-term unemployment.
In South Africa, 38.2% of people aged between 15-34 are unemployed, which means more than one in every three young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2018.
Here are some of the key unemployment findings from the first quarter of 2018:
3.3 million youths are not employed, educated or trained
32.4% (approximately 3.3 million) were not in employment, education or training – implying that close to one in three young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 24 years were disengaged with the labour market in the first quarter of 2018.
15.3 million people aged 15 – 64 years were not economically active
Of these, 18.2% were discouraged work seekers up by 1.8 percentage points since last year.
A third of employed people are in domestic or elementary occupations
Employment increased by 206 000 during first quarter of 2018
This is the biggest growth recorded in the formal sector (non-agricultural).
Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal showed decreases in their unemployment rate between Q4:2017 and Q1:2018
The unemployment rate for those aged 25-34 is double that of the 45-54 year olds
Unemployment rate for people who have less than a matric is at 31.1%
The unemployment rate remains unchanged from last year