Unemployment Rate of South Africa
Updated on February 12, 2022.

According to recent data from the World Bank, the total unemployment rate of South Africa was 28.74% in 2020, a difference of +0.27 points from 2019; and the total labor force of South Africa in 2020 was 21,742,744. The most recent figures on male and female unemployment rates were 26.78% and 30.5% respectively in 2019.

The World Bank defines unemployment rate as "the share of the labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment".

The chart and table below shows the total, male, and female unemployment rates of South Africa for 1991-2020.

See also: Youth Unemployment Rate of South Africa.

Data Source: World Bank.
Unemployment Rate of South Africa (%)
Total
Male
Female
Unemployment Rate of South Africa
Items per page:
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Year Total Unempl.(%) Male Unempl.(%) Female Unempl.(%)
1991 29.44 25.88 35.34
1992 29.58 26.05 35.33
1993 29.8 26.01 35.88
1994 29.88 25.87 36.16
1995 29.87 25.8 36.12
1996 29.87 25.7 36.17
1997 29.85 25.74 35.94
1998 29.85 25.84 35.7
1999 29.94 25.76 35.92
2000 29.88 25.54 35.96
2001 30.69 26.44 36.56
2002 33.29 27.34 41.37
2003 32.31 27.07 39.31
2004 29.45 24.3 36.23
2005 29.12 23.51 36.42
2006 28.34 22.54 35.82
2007 26.54 21.44 33.06
2008 22.41 19.74 25.8
2009 23.52 21.92 25.57
2010 24.68 22.87 27.02
2011 24.64 22.59 27.23
2012 24.73 22.87 27.08
2013 24.56 22.97 26.54
2014 24.89 23.16 27.03
2015 25.15 23.21 27.54
2016 26.54 24.54 28.99
2017 27.04 25.2 29.26
2018 26.91 25.14 29.05
2019 28.47 26.78 30.5
2020 28.74