South Africa’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.6 of a percentage point to 26.5 percent for the fourth quarter of 2016 as employment grew by 235 000 and the number of jobseekers declined by 92 000, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday.
However, StatsSA said this was still 2.0 percentage points higher compared to the same period last year.
The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the fourth quarter of 2016 revealed that the growth in employment was mainly driven by services industry, which grew by 73 000.
Transport and manufacturing industries followed second and third as they grew by 46 000 and 44 000, respectively.
All other industries reported employment growth quarter to quarter except mining and construction, which declined by 17 000 and
9 000 respectively.
StatsSA said the unemployment rate declined in four of the nine provinces, with North West registering the biggest decline of 4.0 percentage points.
The expanded unemployment, which includes those who wanted to work but did not look for work, decreased by 116 000, resulting in a decline of 0.7 of a percentage point in the expanded unemployment rate to 35.6 percent.
However, StatsSA said there were still 8.9 million people looking for work.
The youth, aged 15-34, still remain vulnerable in the labour market, with an unemployment rate of 37.1 percent, which is 10.6 percentage points above the national average.