SA's unemployment rate increase to 30.1 percent

Published Jun 26, 2020


DURBAN – South Africa’s unemployment rate has increased to 30.1 percent due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is an increase of 1 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the last (fourth) quarter of 2019, according to Stats SA.

This means that the number of people employed in South Africa decreased by 38 000 between the months of January and March 2020, which is a total of 16,4 million people still employed. The number of unemployed people increased by 344 000 which is a total of 7,1 million people unemployed in South Africa. According to Stats SA, people between 25 and 34 were the hardest hit by the unemployment rate.

"The unemployment rate from my perspective jumped quite substantially, it's now at about 30 percent. What's stood out in particular, is that in the past year, almost 900,000 more people have become unemployed and I think that is exceptional and it speaks to our inability to create jobs in a very low-growth environment,” said chief economist at Stanlib Kevin Lings.

With many large companies announcing their plans of retrenchment, economists predict that the post-coronavirus unemployment rate in South Africa as high as 50% with Nedbank predicting 1.6 million jobs will be lost within the country.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said: "Finance in the form of agricultural as well as engineering and other technical activities, legal work and other advertising have lost 50 000 jobs quarter on quarter. Services in government, especially educational services, sporting and other recreational activities have lost 33 000 jobs. Agriculture, farming of animals, forestry and related services lost 21 000 jobs. Transport and railway services have lost 17 000 jobs."

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