Between Q4 of 2013 and Q1 of 2014, employment decreased by 122 000, largely due to a decrease of 110 000 jobs observed in the informal sector. Both Private households and Agricultural industries shed jobs (14 000 and 5 000 respectively), while a slight increase was observed in the formal sector (7 000).
The number of unemployed persons increased by 237 000 over the same period. This resulted in a 1.1 percent increase in the unemployment rate, and 0.5 of a percentage point decrease in the absorption rate. Over the same period, the number of discouraged job-seekers increased by 154 000, while the other (not economically active group) decreased by 114 000, resulting in an increase of 40 000 in the not economically active group as a whole.
Compared to a year ago, employment increased by 496 000, mainly due to an increase of 538 000 jobs observed in the formal sector. Job losses were observed in the Agricultural industry (55 000) during the same quarter.
The number of unemployed people increased by 205 000 over the period. Slight increases were thus observed in the unemployment rate and absorption rate (0.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively). Among the not economically active population, there were decreases, with the discouraged job-seekers declining by 1.9 percent, and the (other) not economically active group by 0.3 percent.
Eight provinces recorded highest unemployment rates in Q1 of 2014 compared with Q4 of 2013, with the largest increases recorded in Northern Cape and Mpumalanga at 4.1 and 3.2 percentage points respectively. The official unemployment rate in Western Cape remained virtually unchanged.