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South Africa Jobless Rate Declines for First Time Since 2020

  • Unemployment rate drops to 34.5% from 35.3% in fourth quarter
  • Recovery spurred by job gains in mining, manufacturing
Commuters at Cape Town Station Metrorail Station in Cape Town.

Commuters at Cape Town Station Metrorail Station in Cape Town.

Photographer: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg
Updated on

South Africa’s unemployment rate fell for the first time in seven quarters as the manufacturing and mining industries added jobs to meet demand for commodities stoked by Russia’s war with Ukraine and the government employed more people through its public-works program.

The jobless rate fell to 34.5%, from 35.3% in the final three months of 2021, Statistics South Africa said Tuesday in a report released in the capital, Pretoria. That’s the first drop since the second quarter of 2020, when job seekers were hindered by one of the world’s strictest lockdowns to slow the spread of Covid-19. The median of four economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was 35.4%.