South Africa 1Q Unemployment Rate at Highest Level Since September 2003

By Gabriele SteinhauserFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 27.7% in the first quarter, its highest level since September 2003.

The country's statistics office said Thursday that the increase in the unemployment rate was due to 433,000 more people looking for jobs, which offset an increase in the number of employed people by 144,000.

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In the fourth quarter of 2016, the unemployment rate stood at 26.5%.

Employment grew in all industries apart from agriculture, trade and services, with the biggest increase in jobs coming in the manufacturing sector, the statistics office said. Employment also rose in the mining sector, following four quarters of declining job numbers there, it added.

Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 01, 2017 07:08 ET (11:08 GMT)