Statistics South Africa have released new data stating the level of national employment fell in the last quarter of 2014 to reach a one-year low of 24.3%, a total of just 1.1% less than the previous quarter.

Despite the third consecutive quarter of growth, many economists feel stronger figures will be required in order to stimulate Africa’s second-largest economy which has endured sluggish growth since the 2009 recession.

Speaking to reporters in Pretoria, deputy director general of population and social statistics at Statistics South Africa Kefiloe Masiteng, said, “There is a lag between economic growth and employment. We still feel that the economic growth is not coming at the levels that is able to create the jobs that are needed currently for the economy.”

While manufacturing, agriculture and construction showed positive growth, cumulatively adding 118,000 jobs in Q4 alone, other sectors such as mining contracted with 14,000 losing their jobs during the same period. In total, there was a net gain of 203,000 finding employment.

The findings, which were conducted under The Quarterly Labour Force Survey is based on a household sample survey conducted by Stats SA and includes the labour market activities of persons aged between 15 and 64 years old.