Unemployment in South Africa hits new record 13-year high in Q2
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SOUTH Africa’s unemployment rate increased by 1.8 percentage points to a record high of 34.4% in the second quarter of this year compared to the first quarter, Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) said today.
This is the highest unemployment rate recorded since the start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) in 2008.
StatsSA said the number of unemployed people increased by 584 000 to 7.8 million in the second quarter compared to the first quarter.
The results of the QLFS for the second quarter showed the number of employed people fell by 54 000 to 14.9 million during the period, following a decrease of 28 000 in the previous quarter.
The survey shows that employment has decreased in the second quarter of each year since 2015, except for in 2015 and 2019.
StatsSA said the number of employed people fell in three of the 10 industries, with the largest decrease recorded in finance, followed by community and social services, and manufacturing.
Construction and trade recorded the largest increases in employment.
The jobs print confirmed that this was the third decrease in employment since the national lockdown in March last year.
As a result of more people entering the jobs market, StatsSA said the labour force went up by 530 000 to 22.8 million.
StatsSA said the number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 186 000.
The number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement eased by 571 000 between the two quarters, resulting in a net decrease of 386 000 in the not economically active population.
The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for a work, increased by 1.2 percentage points to 44.4% in the second quarter.