Unemployment increased by 54,000, according to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released by Stats SA on Tuesday.
This puts the number of unemployed people at 7.8 million, up by 584,000 since the first quarter of the year.
In addition, the number of discouraged work-seekers rose by 5.9% while those not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 4.5%, resulting in a net decrease of 386,000 in the not-economically-active population since the last quarter.
Overall, the national unemployment rate now stands at 34.4% from the first quarter’s 32.6%, marking the largest quarterly increase since the survey was first launched in 2008.
When one takes the expanded definition of unemployment into account, this figure rises to 44.4%.
“The results indicate that the South African labour market is more favourable to men than it is to women,” Stats SA said.
“Men are more likely to be paid in employment than women regardless of race.
Overall, the national unemployment rate now stands at 34.4%… marking the largest quarterly increase since the survey was first launched in 2008.
“The proportion of men in employment is higher than that of women; more men than women are participating in the labour market as the labour force participation rate of men is higher than that or women; and the unemployment among men is lower than amongst women.”
According to the QLFS, the unemployment rate among men is 32.4%, in contrast to that of women which stands at 36.8%.
Black African women are far more likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts, with their unemployment rates sitting at 41% and 8.2% respectively.
The unemployment rate among Indian/Asian women is 22.4% and 29.9% among coloured women.
Employment within the formal sector decreased by 375,000 while other sectors experienced an increase in the second quarter.
Informal sector employment rose by 7.4%, while employment in agriculture rose 8.7% and private household employment by 6%.
The construction industry saw the biggest growth, employing 143,000 more people in the second quarter. This was followed by trade, which grew 108,000, and agriculture, which added 69,000 more jobs.