Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Tuesday that the Unemployment rate has dropped down to 26.7% in the the fourth quarter of 2017.
This information is based on the quarterly labour force survey.
The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, decreased to 36.3 percent in the fourth quarter from 36.8 percent in the previous quarter.
Annabel Bishop, a chief economist at Investec said the impending Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidency might see the unemployment rate go further down.
“South Africa can eventually regain it’s A grade credit ratings, see unemployment drop below 22% and have sustained economic growth above 5.0% year-on-year again…but must now reduce the size of the state substantially, and allow conditions that see the private corporate sector triple in size,” Bishop said.
According to Stats SA the drop comprises 5.9 million people in SA, that are unemployed but are active job seekers.
The results are however 12.7 percentage points away from the 14% targeted in the National Development Plan for 2020.
Statistician general Risenga Maluleke said that the NDP target for 2030 is 6% and unfortunately this is 1 percentage point down from the unemployment rate of 27.7% recorded for the second and third quarters of 2017.
Maluleke noted that 16,2 million people were employed in Quarter 4 of 2017. Therefore the absorption rate was 43,1%.
StatsSA said that close to 30% of people aged 15 -24 years old were not in employment, education or training programmes in Q4 of 2017.
The Northern Cape recorded the highest level at 38,2%, where Limpopo was the lowest at 25%.
15,5 million people aged 15 – 64 years were not economically active in Q4 of 2017, this was up 503 000 and a majority of these were students.
The informal sector created 119 000 jobs in Q4 of 2017 while the agriculture sector created 39 000 jobs.
The service and manufacturing industries recorded the biggest quarter-on quarter as well as year-on-year gains in jobs in Q4 of 2017.
Unemployment rate for females remain higher than that of males according to the report. Black African females had the highest unemployment rate in at 32,4%.