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Africa   The unemployment rate in South Africa

South Africa jobless rate at nearly 11-year high in Q1

South Africa joblessThe unemployment rate in South Africa increased to 26.7 percent in the three months to March of 2016 from 24.5% in the previous quarter and above market expectations of 25.3%.

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It was the highest reading since September 2005, as number of unemployed rose by 10 percent whereas employment fell 2.2 percent.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 10 percent to 5.7 million from 5.2 million in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, not economically active population edged down by 0.04 percent to 15.05 million and discouraged work-seekers went down by 7.5 percent to 2.4 million.

Employment fell 2.2 percent quarter-on-quarter to 15.66 million people.The largest losses were reported in utilities (-9.9 percent), manufacturing (-5.8 percent), construction (-5.3 percent), trade(-3.6 percent) and private household (-3.3 percent).

In contrast, job gains were observed in agriculture (+1.8 percent) and community and social services (+1.4 percent).

In the first quarter of 2016, the labor force participation rate increased to 58.7 percent from 58.5 percent in the previous period.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work went up to 36.3 percent from 33.8 percent.

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