An Overview of The South African Labour Market for the Year Ending 2017, Quarter 2

The South African working-age population has grown over the last 12-months, as has the labour force. While the number of jobs in the economy has increased, it was not sufficient to keep pace with the growing labour force and, as a result, unemployment has continued to rise. Labour force participation has increased marginally between 2016Q2 and 2017Q2, with the expanded labour force participation rate rising from 66.4 percent to 67.9 percent. Despite this, prospects for substantial employment growth remain limited in the current weak economic environment. Examining LFPR by demographic characteristics reveals it is lowest for Africans and women; however, participation rates for both of these groups increased robustly from a year earlier. The LFPR displays an inverted U-shaped relationship for age and educational attainment. The conditions in non-urban areas of the South African labour market remain a concern. In 2017Q2, the unemployment rate in non-urban areas is 14.7 percentage points higher than unemployment rate in urban areas. This indicates the lack of economic opportunities in non-urban areas