Unemployment in South Africa rises to 34.9%

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People queue at the Department of Labour to claim money from the unemployment insurance fund on May 04, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. The government began a phased easing of its strict lockdown measures in a bid to cut down on the spread coronavirus. (Photo by Nardus Engelbrecht/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
People queue at the Department of Labour to claim money from the unemployment insurance fund on May 04, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. /Getty Images

Latest statistics from the South Africa labor force ministry now indicate that unemployment increased in South Africa in the third quarter to 34.9 percent, the highest since Quarterly Labor Force Surveys (QLFS) began in 2008, Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said Tuesday.

“The number of employed persons decreased by 660,000 in the third quarter of 2021 to 14.3 million. And the number of unemployed persons decreased by 183,000 to 7.6 million compared to the second quarter of 2021,” Maluleke said at the release of the numbers.

According to Maluleke, the number of discouraged job-seekers increased by 545,000 (16.4 percent) and those who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement increased by 443,000 (3.3 percent), resulting in a net increase of 988,000 in the not economically active population.

South Africa’s economy has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic which saw companies close doors during the hard lockdown in 2020 and it is now recovering after many of the tough restrictions were relaxed.

 

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