That means of the 36.6m people of working age in South Africa between the ages of 15 and 64 years old, 5.6m people are currently not employed.
Despite the slight decrease in unemployment, total employment contracted by 0.8% due to job losses in the service, agriculture, transport and mining sectors of the economy. Conversely job gains were reported in manufacturing, private households and construction.
The expanded unemployment rate, which includes people who did not look for work, but were available for employment during the second quarter, increased by 0.1 of a percentage point to 36.4% or 8.9m people.
The level of inactivity also increased by 379 000, implying that people who lost jobs became inactive instead of moving into unemployment. The number also includes people who were previously looking for work, but stopped doing so.
Youth (South Africans between the ages 15 to 34 years) and those without matric remain the most vulnerable with regard to unemployment. The youth unemployment rate alone stands at 37.5%, representing a total of 3.2m young people.
The Free State and Gauteng were the provinces with the highest unemployment rate at 32.2% and 29.5% respectively.
Statistician-general Pali Lehohla said the slight decline in the unemployment rate was “nothing to go to town about” and the absorption rate of 42.5% was a far cry from the 61% mooted in the National Development Plan (NDP). During 2008 and 2016 the labour force participation rate (the percentage of working-age persons in an economy who: are employed and who are unemployed but looking for a job) decreased from 46% to 42.5%.
Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!
No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.
Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.
It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.
But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.
So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.
Billionaire oil tycoon J Paul Getty had a pay phone in his home so he wouldn't have to pay for guests' calls.