Stats SA has published its Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of the year, showing that the country’s unemployment rate decreased for the second consecutive quarter.

The country’s unemployment rate improved, albeit marginally, by 0.6 of a percentage point from 34.5% in the first quarter to 33.9% in the second quarter.

The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment also decreased by 1.4 percentage points to 44.1 % in Q2:2022 compared to Q1:2022.

The survey data indicates that 648,000 jobs were gained between the first quarter of 2022 and the second quarter of 2022.

The biggest job gains were recorded in Community and Social Services (276,000), Trade (169,000), Finance (128,000) and Construction (104,000). However, there were job losses in Manufacturing (73,000) and Transport (54,000). The total number of persons employed was 15.6 million in the second quarter of 2022.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 132,000 to 8.0 million in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter. The number of discouraged work-seekers decreased by 183,000 (4.9%), and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 452,000 (3.3%) between the two quarters.

This resulted in a net decrease of 635,000 in the not economically active population, Stats SA said.

Provincially, the Eastern Cape has the highest unemployment rate at 42.8% (expanded, 51.8%). Limpopo has the second highest unemployment rate at 36.3%, but KwaZulu Natal has the second highest expanded rate at 49.4%.

The Northern Cape has the lowest unemployment rate at 23.7%, but the Western Cape has the lowest rate by the expanded definition at 31.3%.

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