The unemployment rate was significantly higher for youth (people aged between 15 and 34) at 36.1 percent.Picture: Herbert Matimba
The unemployment rate increased by 0.3 percent between the first and second quarters of 2014 to reach 25.5 percent, Statistics SA said on Tuesday.
"The increase in the number of unemployed has resulted in an increase in the unemployment rate above pre-recessionary levels," Stats SA said in a statement.
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey, released on Tuesday, revealed that almost 5.2 million people were unemployed.
The unemployment rate increase was greatest among the coloured and white populations, increasing by 1.8 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.
The survey also found that the expanded unemployment rate, which also included people not actively seeking work, reached 35.6 percent in the second quarter.
There were around 2,419,000 discouraged job seekers, down from around 2,425,000 year-on-year.
"...The labour force participation rate remains below the pre-recession level because discouragement has increased."
While the number of people employed dropped in seven out of 10 recorded industries compared to the first quarter, the overall number of workers increased by 39,000 to almost 15.1 million.
"...This was mainly due to large increases observed in the community and social services (103,000), private households (60,000) and transport (52,000) industries," Stats SA said.
"Employment outcomes are mixed, while jobs have been created in the post-recession period, this has not resulted in an increase in the absorption rate to the levels witnessed before the recession."
The absorption rate refers to the employment to population ratio of a society.
The survey revealed that 27.5 percent of women were unemployed in the second quarter, compared to 23.8 percent of men. The unemployment rate for women was two percent higher than the national average.
The unemployment rate was significantly higher for youth (people aged between 15 and 34) at 36.1 percent, compared to adults at 16.3 percent.