The sudden jump in the unemployment rate in 2015: Is there a break in the QLFS data?

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Jairo Arrow on 16 May 2018

This article argues that there is a time-series break in StatsSA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) in the first quarter of 2015. The principal cause appears to be differences between the sampling frames before and after 2015, respectively based on Census 2001 and Census 2011. The break is signalled by a significant increase in the number of one-person households surveyed in the QLFS. It is critical for economists, policy analysts and policy-makers to be aware of this break in the data.