• Labour Wrap

    Terry Bell says the labour movement in SA is currently in a state of confusion.

  • Will the NPA stand up?

    Solly Moeng wonders if the NPA head will reinstate criminal charges against president Zuma.

  • Commodity currency

    Jac Laubscher asks if the true exchange rate of the rand is really a cue from commodity prices.

All data is delayed
See More

SA's jobless rate falls

Feb 07 2012 11:48

Pretoria - South Africa’s official jobless rate eased to 23.9% of the labour fource in the fourth quarter of 2011, from 25.0% in the third quarter, a survey showed on Tuesday.

In its latest quartely Labour Force Survey, Statistics South Africa said the total number of unemployed people stood at 4.244 million in the three months to December from 4.442 million in the third quarter.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 35.4%.

Chris Hart, chief economist, Investment Solutions, said the economy was starting to claw some of the jobs lost in the wake of the global financial crisis.

“However, job creation is not happening in abundance or at the rate that could ever hope to materially dent unemployment. We are tinkering in decimal points whereas the substance of unemployment is not really being resolved at all. This economy is not geared to creating jobs because the environment is too hostile for small business," he said.

“Programmes (announced by President Zuma last year) are really mere gestures. They could never ever be a solution to our jobs crisis."

The government sees unemployment as one of the major challenges for South Africa’s economy after a million jobs were lost during a recession in 2009 and have not been recovered.

Out of nearly 50 million people in South Africa, only about 13.1 million are employed, with only 40% of people of working age in a job.

The government is proposing changes to labour laws that are intended to increase job security for temporary workers but economists expect the shake-up will worsen unemployment as it partly ramps up costs for employers.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said the economy needs to grow by 7% a year on a sustained basis to make a dent on unemployment, more than double the current rate of 3.1% seen for 2011.

unemployment  |  sa economy


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Marketing is a big concern in SA's small business community, followed by a lack of confidence and partnering with the wrong people, according to a survey.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The drop in inflation:

Previous results · Suggest a vote