South Africa Adds 59,000 Non-Farm Jobs in the Third Quarter, Agency Says

South Africa, which has the highest unemployment rate of 61 countries tracked by Bloomberg, added 59,000 non-farm jobs in the third quarter.

Employment in formal, non-agricultural industries rose 0.7 percent to 8.359 million from the second three months of the year, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said on its website today. The data is based on a survey of companies registered to pay taxes.

South Africa’s economic growth stalled in the third quarter, threatening a target to slash unemployment. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Oct. 25 cut the government’s forecast for growth to 3.1 percent in 2011 from a previous estimate of 3.4 percent, as the deepening debt crisis in Europe reduces demand for exports. The region purchases about a third of South Africa’s manufactured goods.

The Reserve Bank has kept the benchmark rate at a 30-year low of 5.5 percent this year as it seeks to stimulate the economy. South Africa’s GDP grew 1.4 percent in the third quarter, little changed from an almost two-year low in the previous previous three months.

The government says gross domestic product needs to expand 7 percent annually to meet a target to cut unemployment to 14 percent by 2020 from 25 percent.

Employment rose 2.5 percent, or 204,000 jobs, in the third quarter from a year earlier, the statistics office said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andres R. Martinez in Johannesburg at amartinez28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.