Johannesburg – South Africa’s unemployment rate fell for a second consecutive quarter, official data showed on Tuesday in a piece of good news for the economy ahead of elections next year.
Between July and September, the jobless rate reached 31.9% of the workforce, compared to 32.6% in the previous quarter, the national statistics agency, StatsSA, said.
“The number of unemployed persons decreased by 72 000 to 7.8 million” during the same quarter, it added.
Employment gains were mostly concentrated in finance and agriculture as well as community and social services.
The drop follows a 0.3-percentage-point decrease in the second quarter.
South Africa, which has been battered by a prolonged energy crisis that has hampered economic activity, is to hold general elections in 2024.
The ruling African National Congress, in power since 1994, is experiencing dipping support, as poverty, inequality and joblessness run high nearly three decades after the end of apartheid.
The high unemployment rate has fuelled protests as well as anti-foreigner sentiment.