South Africa: Labor force

* indicates monthly or quarterly data series
 South Africa

Labor force, million people

 Latest value 24.31
 Year 2022
 Measure million people
 Data availability 1990 - 2022
 Average 20.09
 Min - Max 15.5 - 24.31
 Source The World Bank
For that indicator, we provide data for South Africa from 1990 to 2022. The average value for South Africa during that period was 20.09 million people with a minimum of 15.5 million people in 1990 and a maximum of 24.31 million people in 2022. The latest value from 2022 is 24.31 million people. For comparison, the world average in 2022 based on 176 countries is 19.35 million people. See the global rankings for that indicator or use the country comparator to compare trends over time.
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* indicates monthly or quarterly data series


Recent values chart
South Africa - Labor force - recent values

Historical chart
South Africa - Labor force - historical chart - 1990-2022




Definition: Labor force comprises people ages 15 and older who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a specified period. It includes people who are currently employed and people who are unemployed but seeking work as well as first-time job-seekers. Not everyone who works is included, however. Unpaid workers, family workers, and students are often omitted, and some countries do not count members of the armed forces. Labor force size tends to vary during the year as seasonal workers enter and leave.


 Related indicators Latest value Reference Measure
 Labor force 24.31 2022 million people
 Unemployment rate 29.81 2022 percent
 Female unemployment 31.43 2022 percent
 Male unemployment 28.40 2022 percent
 Youth unemployment 51.52 2022 percent
 Labor force participation 56.81 2022 percent
 Labor force: percent female 46.48 2022 percent
 Female labor force participation 50.61 2022 percent
 Male labor force participation 63.56 2022 percent
 Employment 16.75 Q3/2023 million employed people
 Unemployment rate 31.90 Q3/2023 percent
 Labor cost 138.50 Q3/2022 index points
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