Johannesburg – South Africa’s unemployment rate fell slightly for a fourth consecutive quarter, official data showed on Tuesday, a small piece of good news for the country’s struggling economy.
The high unemployment rate has fuelled protests as well as anti-foreigner sentiment.
Between October and December 2022, the jobless rate declined by 0.2 percent over the third quarter to 32.7 percent of the workforce, StatsSA said.
The drop follows falls of 1.0, 0.6 and 0.8 percentage points in the previous three quarters of the year.
Unemployment stood at 35.3 percent at the end of 2021, when the number of unemployed people peaked at 7.9 million.
[🧵] South Africa’s official #unemployment rate decreased by 0,2 of a percentage point to 32,7%.#StatsSA pic.twitter.com/WQtd6tTvfR
— Stats SA (@StatsSA) February 28, 2023
South Africa has been battered by record power cuts that have hampered economic activity over the past year, costing millions of dollars in lost output each day, according to estimates.
Last week, the head of state-owned power utility Eskom left suddenly following an incendiary interview where he blamed some of the monopoly’s troubles on corruption within the ruling party.
In another reputational blow, on Friday a global watchdog placed the country on its “grey list” for increased monitoring over deficiencies in combating money laundering and other financial crimes.
Poverty, inequality and joblessness run high in the country, nearly three decades after the end of apartheid.
StatsSA said 169,000 jobs were added in the fourth quarter, especially in finance, trade and transport.
The gains were mostly concentrated in the formal sector with the country’s large informal sector recording a loss of 15 000 jobs.
Follow African Insider on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
For more African news, visit Africaninsider.com