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South Africa Jobless Rate Rises In Q1

South Africa jobless rate rose in the first quarter, after remaining unchanged in the previous quarter, and employment decreased for the first time in three quarters, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Tuesday.

The jobless rate rose to 30.1 percent in the first quarter from 29.1 percent each in the fourth and third quarters of 2019. Economists had forecast a rate of 29.7 percent.

In the same quarter previous year, the unemployment rate was 27.6 percent.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 344,000 persons to 7.1 million in the March quarter from 6.7 million in the previous quarter. The jobless figure decreased by 8,000 persons in the previous quarter.

The number of employed persons fell by 38,000 persons sequentially to 16.4 million in the first quarter.

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