South Africa’s unemployment rose to a 13-year high in the third quarter with the manufacturing, mining and agricultural sectors all shedding jobs within the period, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday.
The jobless rate according to the statistics agency, rose to 27.1 percent of the labour force in the three months leading to September from 26.6 percent in the second quarter.
Statistician-General Pali Lehohla told a news conference that: “Unemployment is the highest since 2003. The highest unemployment rate prior to 2003 was probably around 30 percent in 2000.”
Statistics SA also noted that some 5.873 million South Africans were without jobs in the third quarter compared with 5.634 previously.
The manufacturing sector which accounts for about 15 percent of GDP, lost 28,000 jobs while 9,000 jobs were lost in the mining sector.
South Africa, the continent’s most industrialized economy has over the past six years, grown lethargically making it hard to recoup the one million jobs lost during the 2008/2009 recession.
The expanded definition of unemployment which includes people who have stopped looking for work was however slightly lower at 36.3 percent in the third quarter, compared to 36.4 percent in the second quarter.