Pretoria - The economy shed 75 000 jobs in the first quarter
of the year, according to figures released by Statistics SA on
This was despite growth in the agricultural sector, which
gained 26 000 jobs, and in private households, which created a 33 000 jobs in
the first quarter of 2012, according to the quarterly labour force survey.
However, the number of job losses were still down on the
last quarter of 2011, when the formal sector shed 107 000 jobs.
According to the survey, 28 000 jobs were lost in the
informal sector in the first quarter of 2012.
Stats SA said an additional 207 000 people were participating
in the labour market since last year. They included new market entrants.
The labour force participation rate had increased to 54.7%.
The survey found that the unemployment rate had increased by
1.3 percentage points to 25.2% as a result of the increased labour force, and
a decline in employment.
Construction and manufacturing had declined by 6.7% and 3.7%
from the last quarter.
Compared to the same period last year, employment increased
by 290 000 jobs, a 3.1% increase.
The growth in employment was driven by trade (127 000 jobs),
community and social services (121 000) and finance (102 000).
At the start of the year, unemployment usually shows an
The survey found that around 4.5 million people were
unemployed in the first quarter, an increase of 282 000 people.
Of these, 3.1 million (67.8%) had been looking for work for
at least a year.
A total of 59.6% did not have matric and 44% had not worked