South African Unemployment Rate Highest Since the End of 2003

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StatsSA recently released the latest South African Unemployment statistics. Many media reports took the results at face value. They reported that the latest figure, of 29,1 %, is the highest unemployment rate since 2008. I have not seen any media report stating the facts differently.

The reported unemployment statistic started in 2008 and is a seasonally adjusted figure. Hence, the reference date of 2008 is valid and misleading.

The South African Reserve Bank publishes the same figures (not yet updated). The SARB also shows the previously calculated Unemployment Statistic without seasonal adjustment. When looking at the non-adjusted unemployment statistic for South Africa, South Africa has reached the highest unemployment rate since quarter 4 of 2003.

We should not take all values at face value but should dig a little deeper.

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