South Africa’s unemployment rate edged from 35.3% in the final quarter of last year to 34.5% in the first quarter of 2022, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.
Statistics South Africa said the number of unemployed totalled 7.862 million people in the three months to end-March, compared with 7.921 million people in the previous three months.
According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 45.5% of the labour force was without work in the first quarter, from 46.2% in the prior quarter.
Stats SA further said that the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces recorded expanded unemployment rates above 50,0% in Q1:2022.
The Northern Cape, North West, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Limpopo recorded more than 15 percentage points difference between expanded and official unemployment rates.
The report also showed that the formal sector in South Africa accounts for 68,3% of total employment.
Formal sector employment increased by 408 000 jobs between Q4:2021 and Q1:2022.
15-34 year-olds make up the highest unemployment rate in SA
Youth aged between 15-24 years and 25-34 years recorded the highest unemployment rates of 63,9% and 42,1% respectively.
StatsSA said that the graduate unemployment rate (12.6%) is 21,9% points lower than the national official unemployment rate in the country.
The agency further said that 370 000 more jobs were recorded in the first quarter of 2022, from the fourth quarter of last year.
The bulk of jobs came from community and social services, manufacturing and trade sectors.