- South Africa’s persistently high unemployment rate remained near a 15-year high in the first quarter of 2018
- The official unemployment rate remained unchanged at 26.7% or roughly 6 million people
- The Eastern Cape has the highest unemployment rate, while on KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng showed a decrease in the number of unemployed people
South Africa’s unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2018 remained unchanged from the final quarter of 2017. The official unemployment rate remains at 26.7% which is near a 15-year high.
Statistics South Africa released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for Q1 of 2018 in Pretoria on Tuesday. The report shows that nearly 6 million South Africans were unemployed in the first three months of 2018.
The only bit of good news coming out of the report is that for the second quarter in a row the unemployment rate fared better than forecasts suggested. Investec and Bloomberg both estimated that the rate would climb to 26.9%.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the Eastern Cape has the highest unemployment rate in the country, while only KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng showed a decrease in the number of unemployed people.
Statistician-general Risenga Maluleke said 15.3 million South Africans aged 15 – 64 years were not economically active. “Of these, 18.2% were discouraged work seekers which has gone up by 1.8 percentage points," he said.
Statistically speaking the less educated a person is the more likely they are of being unemployed.
The news is likely to come as a disappointment if not a shock to President Cyril Ramaphosa. When he came to power there was a sense of optimism and hope, but these sentiments were unable to translate into real-world job creation.
Ramaphosa should not be judged on the first quarter alone, he only took over midway through the quarter and has since then been working tirelessly on various projects and initiatives aimed at fighting the persistently high unemployment rate.
Economists feel that businesses are waiting for real economic reforms to take effect before investing and creating jobs.
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