The rate of unemployment in South Africa for the first quarter 2024 increased 0.8% from fourth quarter of 2023 to 32.9%, with number of unemployed people rising 330,000 to 8.2 million, according to Quarterly Labor Force Survey (QLFS) released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

However, the QLFS results also showed that the number of employed people has increased 22,000 to 16.7 million in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the fourth quarter of 2023.

Furthermore, the report also mentioned that the "number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 214 000 to 13.1 million, while discouraged work-seekers decreased by 1,000 in the first quarter," SA News reported.

This contributed to a net decrease of 215,000 in the not economically active population.

Stats SA added, "The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition also increased by 0.8 of a percentage point to 41.9% in Q1: 2024 compared to Q4: 2023."

Talking about the formal sector employment, it has increased by 56,000 in the first quarter while the informal sector employment decreased by 100,000. The industries that saw a rise in employment include trade, manufacturing, private households, transport, agriculture and mining.

However, there were job losses in community and social services (122,000), construction (106,000), finance (50,000) and utilities (17,000).

There are some provinces that witnessed an increase in employment including KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Northern Cape. Whereas, Western Cape, North West, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Limpopo saw a decrease in employment. However, there are provinces like Free State, which didn't witness any change.

"The youth (15 to 34 years) remain vulnerable in the labor market; the first quarter of 2024 results show that the total number of unemployed youths increased by 236 000 to 4.9 million while there was a decrease of 7 000 in the number of employed youths to 5,9 million," the stats mentioned.

It added, "This resulted in an increase in the youth unemployment rate by 1.3 percentage points from 44.3% in Q4: 2023 to 45.5% in Q1: 2024."