SA Unemployment rate – 3 things you should know

SA Unemployment rate – 3 things you should know

The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of 2019 released by Statistics South Africa, indicate that the official unemployment rate increased by 1,4 percentage points to 29,0%.

Here are other facts that you need to know about our current unemployment rate

1. Unemployment rate highest in 11 years

There are two official sources of employment statistics in South Africa: the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES)  – which is establishment based and the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) – which is household based.

The quarterly labour force survey (QLFS) was introduced in 2008. This is the highest it has been in years since it was first introduced in 11 years.

2. South Africa has the highest unemployment rate in the BRICS countries

While India and China have massive populations, they manage to have low unemployment rates.Russia and Brazil, with smaller populations, though still significant, also have unemployment levels far lower than South Africa. South Africa, with the smallest population in the grouping, has an unemployment rate two times higher than its closest BRICS counterpart.

Country Current Population Unemployment rate
South Africa 57.7 million 29%
Brazil 209.2 million 11.8%
Russia 156.9 million 4.7%
China 1.39 billion 3.9%
India 1.33 billion 3.4%


3. South African unemployment goes against the trend of world largest economies.

The world’s developed economies are experiencing an unprecedented job boom while South Africa’s unemployment rate has just climbed to 29%



Reducing the unemployment rate and putting the economy on a robust growth path are at the top the list in Ramaphosa’s reform drive. But South Africa needs a dynamic and innovative economy where people are sufficiently rewarded for experimentation and risk-taking. The task ahead is challenging, and will require exceptional leadership from multiple constituencies in society





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