South Africa’s unemployment rate fell for the first time in seven quarters as manufacturing and mining industries created jobs to meet demand for commodities fueled by Russia’s war with Ukraine and the government hired more people through its public works program.
The unemployment rate fell to 34.5% from 35.3% in the last three months of 2021, Stats SA said in a report published in Pretoria on Tuesday. It’s the first drop since the second quarter of 2020, when jobseekers were blocked from slowing the spread of the coronavirus by one of the world’s toughest lockdowns. The median of estimates by four economists in a Bloomberg survey was 35.4%.
Unemployment, as defined by the expanded definition, which includes people who were available for work but were not looking for a job, dropped to 45.5%. from 46.2% in the fourth quarter.
SA’s unemployment rate remains the highest on a list of 82 countries monitored by Bloomberg, although some of the data is outdated. Strict labor laws, stagnant productivity, bureaucratic hurdles and a skills shortage have limited the ability of many South African companies to hire additional workers.
The recovery in the unemployment rate may be short-lived as record numbers of electricity for This year forecast power outages, the worst flooding in KwaZulu-Natal in nearly three decades in April, a slowdown in global manufacturing, rising interest rates and rising fuel and food prices driven by extreme weather conditions and the war in Ukraine are likely to weigh on the economy weigh on growth and job creation.
- Employees increased by 370,000 to 14.9 million;
- Unemployed fell 60,000 to 7.86 million;
- Municipality, social services added 281,000 jobs;
- Manufacturing gained 263. 000 jobs added;
- Trade industries added 98,000 jobs;
- Mining added 36,000 jobs;
- Utilities added 21,000 jobs;
- transport added 10,000 jobs;
- households lost 186,000 jobs;
- finance industry lost 72,000 jobs;
- construction lost 60,000 jobs; and
- agriculture lost 23,000 jobs.
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