South Africa’s unemployment rate rises to 32.6% in first quarter

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 27: People walk at a street in Cape Town, South Africa on December 27, 2020. (Photo by Xabiso Mkhabela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

In the first quarter of 2021, South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to a new record high of 32.6%, from 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.

This is the highest rate since the the quarterly labour force survey began in 2008.

According to Statistics South Africa, the number of unemployed people in the country stands at 7.242 million people in the three months to the end of March, up from 7.233 million people in the previous three months.

According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 43.2% of the labour force was without work in the January-March quarter, from 42.6% in the final quarter of 2020.

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