Stats: Unemployment lower than expected
Johannesburg - The decrease in the unemployment rate to 24.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013, from 25.6 percent in the second quarter, is below market expectations, an economist said on Tuesday.
“Although the unemployment rate declined, meaningful and sustained job creation that brings unemployment down to single digits will remain restricted,” said Investec economist Kamilla Kaplan.
“Expanding the definition of unemployment to include those individuals who desire employment regardless of whether they were actively seeking work at the time the survey was conducted, yields a substantially higher unemployment rate of 35.6 percent.”
Kaplan said weak economic growth prospects, labour market inefficiencies, and an insufficient rate of small business formation all contributed to the restriction.
Statistics SA (Stats SA) announced on Tuesday that the unemployment rate dropped to 24.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013.
Number of jobless below 400,000 for first time since 2009
Ireland’s unemployment rate continued to fall during the month of October, dipping below the 400,000 mark for the first time in four years but still “unacceptably high”.
Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed a monthly drop from 13.3 per cent to 13.2 per cent, a 16th consecutive decrease.
The Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton tentatively welcomed the results, saying that while positive, things were not improving at quite the pace she would like.
“It still means that unemployment is unacceptably high but this month during October the register fell below 400,000 people for the first time in four years and that is good news,” she said.
In unadjusted terms, there were 396,500 people signing on the register during October - down 23,700 in the year - showing that for the first time since May, 2009 the figure has fallen below the 400,000 threshold.
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