Unemployment rises

UNEMPLOYMENT rates saw an increase in the second three months of 2018, data from Statistics SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey showed yesterday, with local bank FNB stating that the growth in unemployment had exceeded their expectations.

Statistics SA’s data showed that the number of employed people fell by 90 000 in the second quarter. The number of unemployed increased by 102 000 persons to 6.1 million, raising the unemployment rate by 0.5% to 27.2%.

Employment gains of 22 000 were recorded in private households, while the formal sector (35 000), informal sector (73 000) and agriculture (3 000) recorded employment losses between the first and second quarters.

Compared to a year ago, employment increased 1.2% (188 000) and unemployment fell 1.5% (94 000).

“In the context of lower energy demand and production, and a soaring wage bill, this holds significant risk not only for the utilities’ finances, but for fiscal consolidation... With the GDP growth forecast recently revised lower, it is unlikely that there will be any real improvement in the unemployment rate over the medium term,” FNB said.