The results for the third quarter Quarterly labour force survey (QLFS) shows that the working-age population was 36,1 million – 15,8 million employed, 5,4 million unemployed and 14,9 million not economically active. The not economically active population decreased by 200 000 and the economically active population increased 359 000 quarter-to-quarter. Thus resulting in an unemployment rate of 25,5%, absorption rate of 43,8% and labour force participation rate of 58,8%.
The official unemployment rate increased by 0,5 of a percentage point in the third quarter of 2015 compared to second quarter of 2015. The expanded unemployment rate, which relaxes the requirement for job-seekers to be classified as unemployed, decreased by 0,5 of a percentage point to 34,4%.
The formal sector accounted for the largest share of employment at 69,1% while Agriculture accounted for the lowest share (5,7%.) 15% of the not economically active population was accounted for by the discouraged, while 85% were due to other reasons (i.e. student, home-maker etc.)
Large quarterly employment gains were observed in the Trade (81,000) and Construction (59,000) industries. The number of people employed in the Mining industry remained unchanged between the two quarters. Job losses were recorded in the Transport, Private households, Utilities and Finance industries (24,000; 11,000; 9,000 and 4,000 respectively).
The Q1: 2015 (January – March 2015) to Q3: 2015 (Jul – Sep 2015) estimates presented in the report are based on a new master sample (designed in 2013), while the previous quarters are based on the old master sample. The quarter-to-quarter and year-on-year changes are influenced by the change in the updated sample. Stats SA will monitor estimates produced by the new master sample over the next quarters until they have stabilised.