Unemployment rate unmoved

The first time it hasn’t decreased since 2008. Young people and those without higher education hardest hit.
Statistician-General and Head of Statistics SA Risenga Maluleke. Image: GCIS

For the first time in 11 years, South Africa’s unemployment rate has not decreased in the fourth quarter and instead has remained unchanged. 

Statistics SA’s quarterly labour force survey, released on Tuesday, showed that the unemployment rate remained unmoved at 29.1% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019 – against the normal trend. 

Stat’s SA’s acting chief director of labour statistics Malerato Mosiane noted that normally employment levels increase in the trade industry, particularly related to temporary employment, however over the past two years there have been consistent declines. 

The largest declines in employment were in manufacturing and trade, which recorded 39 000 and 159 000 job losses respectively.

On the other hand, the increase in unemployment in Q4 was mainly driven by the formal sector, namely community and social services (113 000), finance  (76 000) and transport (36 000). 

Meanwhile the official unemployment rate remained unchanged the expanded rate, which includes discouraged work-seekers and others who are not looking for work, increased slightly to 38.7%. 

Uneducated youth hard hit

The rate of unemployment among those who are between 15 to 24 years old and 25 to 34 years old in Q4 sat at 58.1% and 35.6% respectively, which is markedly higher than the 35 to 64-year cohort where the rate was at just under 20%. 

StatisticianGeneral Risenga Maluleke, noted the importance of education, highlighting that graduates only made up 7.6% of the unemployment population compared with those with matric and without matric who accounted for 29.7% and 34.6% respectively. Watch the clip below:


Graduates also had an 81% chance of being absorbed into the labour market. 

“When we look at this it shows that education, education, education, does assist in our people being able to get employment. In all the categories where the absorption and labour participation seems to be increasing it’s only when they have higher levels of education,” said Maluleke.



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Just like Eskom (with massive unemployment around for almost as long as loadshedding) the ANC is on it! That’s just what I’m scared about. When you take the view that they hate this country things start to make sense.

The ANC have only themselves to blame for this

I used to employ 120 staff. Decided to exit my industry, have only 1 staff member..me! Always at work, don’t complain, never sick, and i’m not even BEE compliant

No longer a tax collector

Life is bliss!

They have killed the Goose that lays the Golden Egg and that is small business

Unemployment won’t improve whilst the ANC governs, neither will small business flourish or employ staff whilst these people Govern

Same as me Seve – I no longer have staff and the premises, infrastructure that goes with that. Now just my laptop and I, agreed … bliss! My small business was making me poorer, not richer. Let them eat cake.

Same story this side fella . ever increasing BE/AA demands , militant workforce- sold the factory – 2.5 years later business bankrupt
Now previous staff gardners, maids or drivers.
Same story with engineering neighbour
Production in SA today at same level as 1972 , yes 1972!
Wow this commie govt really uplifting the people AMANDLA LOL

Unmoved is backwards

And while everyone -most who are in a position unable to employ, but wishes to voice their opinion on it regardless- keeps waffling on about “employ the youth employ the youth”, no one stops to think how unemployable the youth actually are.

I found this to be specifically true amongst a certain demographic, where english literacy is poor to non-existant, entitlement is right up there; and loyalty & commitment are as misunderstood a concept as “colonialism”. It seems industrial action and infrastructure destruction is more important than being taught English, writing and basic arithmetic. And it shows!!

It seems private sector is expected to just throw money at the youth unemployment problem without expecting any return (hey, if saa, transnet, eskom, prasa, municipalities, etc., can do it, why shouldn’t we….)

What frightens me is the fact that I see no solution to this very big problem…

These numbers are simply catastrophic. I think the solution is to nationalise land and let the state run huge industrial concerns. Also, make it almost impossible for tourists with children to visit South Africa. Just to be safe, have no working legal/justice system. Burn a few clinics and trains and I think we’ll get it under control

In addition the ANC can change a few street and town names (to state capture heroes) to make their people feel better and know that things are changing for the better.

Trust me, not everyone who is unemployed is really looking for work. My wife recently set up interviews for 6 people for a domestic position.
We pay R270 per day and the minimum wage is R120 per day. Of the 6, only 4 showed up and they had lots of excuses like “can’t work on Wednesdays because I have to go the clinic, can’t work on Fridays because blah, blah.” Eventually she took the one who didn’t have excuses. However, her domestic problems are endless and she always wants to take an advance on her salary. Her daughter (age 21) doesn’t have a job and neither has her boyfriend but they now had a baby. The four of them all live together and off her R270 per day. I can get her daughter a job if only she finishes matric but that is way too much effort. Some people create their own problems and are responsible for their own poverty.

You have just epitomized what Africa is all about! Lazy, incompetent, always ready for a handout..”We are owed” is the slogan. “We don’t pay, we demand, lest we burn it down”

As my learned friend always says, “some citizens are consumers, others producers”

This rings true in the face of the unemployment rate this country is facing

And if you believe these stats then you believe in the Tooth Fairy as well.

I think the stats are correct. What I always look for is the expanded rate,which is, in my view, the (more) realistic rate. The article states that discouraged work-seekers and others who are not looking for work, which is what the expanded rate include, increased slightly to 38.7%. By implication people are becoming more despondent as the situation becomes more hopeless. Of course the official rate will then improve, because the expanded rate are absorbing the rest. Let’s keep our eyes on this number, as I believe it will gradually grow to 42%+.

Well I heard a similar report on SAFM this afternoon BUT it clarified that there was added employment in the government sector and job losses in industries I assumed to be in the private sector. Just great smoke and mirrors but very soon the smoke will blow away and the mirror will be stolen.

The solution is to stop announcing these types of stats.

It only causes negative waves and spoils everyone’s day.

I for one have full confidence in our man at the top.

His speech come Thursday will be so good Fitch and S&P will restore our investment status.

Watch this space.

And Father Christmas has decided to relocate to South Africa as he will be inundated with delivering gifts to all and sundry.

Everyone will be so elated that the Government has decided to favour those who pay taxes, not Civil Servants, which by the way is the problem, who steal our tax money faster than Government earns it

I too once upon was a positive citizen much like you are, grappling with negative people when

the exchange rate was R6/$,
unemployment was 6%,
Parastatals were solvent,
SAA was “Proudly South African,”
“Bail outs” was something associated to some sport
BEE was an insect producing honey, now a word that creates a sting
Mayors didn’t earn salaries but had real jobs,
State Capture hadn’t been invented as a word in the Oxford yet,
Municipalities were well oiled and solvent,
cities were clean,
we only kept candles for those intimate evenings, load shedding was unheard
the list goes on

So my dear sir, until there is a dramatic change to the above, words from the SONA will do little to change the mood prevailing in our beautiful country and we will forever remain the laughing stock of the world

I’ll mark your words and hold thumbs with you!

Seve, Colson and Leah

I was, in fact, being sarcastic.

I am on record as saying the only thing that Ramaphosa does better than Zuma is laughing.

The man is a ceremonial figurehead.

Reminds me of the famous ANC proverb: ‘The unemployment stats, such a Western thing’. Could have been Zuma.

…David Brent …were you of some, on Cyril’s inauguration when the Rand leveled at R11.50 …professed that it would reach R3.00 to the USD within the year?

Keep flogging the socialist / communist / unionist horse.

They have been at it for 25 years now.

I guess that means they don’t learn. Just follow the same path even if you know you are going to hit a wall face first.

The collective.


I do not believe ONE WORD what these govt institutions say or publish , they are such liars.
What i see and hear is the figure is way above 50 %
Re Sona i wo’nt even waste the electricity to listen to another garbage
anti -white ramble and how many jobs he is promising for 2020.
A black guy told me a joke :
1948 White Power
1994 Black Power

If 29% people are unemployed does that not perhaps indicate that there are 29% too many people? Or something along that lines?

No it means birth control products imported from China have all expired and the free condoms Government splashes out is perished

Result: Government is overstaffed and our country overpopulated.. The more kiddies are born, the more they become Civil Servants..Nothing beats the gravy train

Like days of old the youngsters worked for:

Die Weermag
Die Poskantoor
Die Spoorweë
Die Staatsdiens

To translate, the ANC learnt from their predecessors, with one distinct difference

The State wasn’t captured and the Government was a lean working machine

High unemployment is the natural outcome of a victimhood-oriented society that cannot bring up its own children with decent family values, and is literally breeding itself into ever more poverty and inequality.

Until the political focus transforms to encouraging strong family values in small nuclear family units that must take active responsibility for bringing their kids up as responsible citizens, there will be no hope for a better future in SA.

where did they find the stats? who are there auditors?

Cannot understand the article. Headline says unemployment hasn’t increased in 12 years, then first line says “hasn’t decreased”. Which is it?

Then: “The largest declines in employment were in manufacturing and trade…
On the other hand, the increase in unemployment in Q4 was mainly driven by…” . Those are both the same hand?

Can you rewrite in English?

First of all we have an acting chief director – what type of person is that. When such figures are pumped out I always wonder how they managed their collection of statistical data, who collected the data i.e. the source and whether it was verified by competent people. To the majority of our population they probably think statistics is a breakfast cereal

Anc government creates joblessness not jobs.things will get worse.very sad.just 1 more african country destroyed.

Unemployment is when a country creates more people than jobs.

SA has created 8 million people too many (plus illegal immigrants).

It does not make sense to only focus on the more jobs. Focus on less people.

The stats focuses on formal sector jobs – much bigger emphasis should be on informal jobs.

End of comments.



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