By Gabriele Steinhauser

JOHANNESBURG--South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 27.1% in the third quarter, up from 26.6% in the second quarter, the country's statistics office said Tuesday.

The figures deal a blow to Africa's most developed economy, after it reported better-than-expected economic growth in the second quarter.

The increase in the unemployment rate came even though the number of employed people rose by 288,000 from the second quarter, thanks to more jobs in the areas of construction, finance and business services, and trade, among other sectors.

In total, 5.9 million people were unemployed in the three months between July and September, up from 5.6 million in the previous three months.

Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at gabriele.steinhauser@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 22, 2016 07:54 ET (12:54 GMT)

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