Pretoria - South Africa's unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2009 remained virtually unchanged at 24.3 percent, says Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).
Stats SA's Quarterly Labour Force survey showed that in the third quarter of 2009, 24.5 percent people were jobless.
The number of people employed in the labour force increased by 61 000 between quarter three and four.
The survey showed that though there was a slight improvement in job creation from the two quarters this did not necessarily translate to a big decrease in the number of unemployed people at 27 000. It said that rather there was a slight increase in the number of discouraged work seekers at 54 000.
"This resulted in the unemployment rate remaining virtually unchanged between quarter three and four," said the statistical body.
On a year-on-year basis there was an annual decrease of 6.3 percent in employment and an increase of 292 000 in the number of unemployed people.
There was also an increase of 947 000 in the number of persons who were not economically active of which 518 000 were discouraged work-seekers.
Between the third and fourth quarter, 89 000 jobs were created across all industries with most of the job gains in the finance industry which accounted for 77 000 jobs. This was followed by the construction and trade industries.
When coming to industries that lost the most jobs year-on-year trade accounting, manufacturing, private households and agriculture. "There was an overall decline of 870 000 in employment between quarter four 2008 and quarter four 2009," said Stats SA, adding that job losses were experienced in all industries.
In comparison to 2008 the number of unemployed persons increased by 292 000 in quarter four of which 227 000 were job losers.