The number or percentage of people in the economy who are trying to find work and cannot. In a first-world economy, this means that as many as 5% to 10% of workers can be unemployed depending on the business cycle. In an emerging economy like South Africa, unemployment rates are much higher (around 27%). However, there is some doubt as to the validity of unemployment data and the true figure could be lower or higher. For example, unemployment does not take into account people who have given up looking for work. If those are added then unemployment in South Africa would be closer to 36% than 27%. There are two primary sources of employment statistics, both produced by Statistics South Africa (SSA – available at http://www.statssa.gov.za) – The Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) and the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS).

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