SA's unemployment rate hits record 34.4%


  Unemployment has hit a record high of 34.4%, or 7.8 million jobless people.


  SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second

  quarter on Tuesday. This is the highest unemployment rate recorded since

  the survey started in 2008.

  The unemployment rate was previously 32.6%, and the number of jobless people was 7.2 million.


  expanded definition of unemployment – which accounts for those

  discouraged from seeking work – has increased 1.2 percentage points to



  its presentation, Stats SA highlighted that the Eastern Cape recorded

  the highest unemployment rate. The official unemployment rate for the

  province is at 47.1%, while the expanded unemployment rate is at 53%.


  sector employment – which accounts for 68.3% of total employment – saw a

  loss of 375 000 jobs during the quarter. However, employment in the

  informal sector, private households and agriculture increased.


  industries created jobs while others lost jobs between quarter one 2021

  [of] and quarter two [of] 2021, resulting in a net decline of 54 000 in

  total employment, Stats SA noted.

  Industries which recorded jobs

  growth include construction, trade and transport, while finance,

  community and social services and manufacturing recorded job losses.


  trends show that unemployment was lower for graduates, compared to

  those individuals who only have matric or less than matric. The black

  African population also has a higher rate of unemployment (38.2%) than

  the national average and that of other population groups, Stats SA said.

  “Black African women are the most vulnerable with an unemployment rate of 41%.”


  SA highlighted that the labour market is more favourable to men than it

  is to women. The official unemployment rate for women was 36.8%,

  compared to 32.4% for men.

  “Men are more likely to be in paid employment than women, regardless of race,” it said.


  continues to burden the youth. Nearly two-thirds (64.4%) of those aged

  15 to 24 are unemployed, and 42.9% of those aged 25 to 34 are


  Covid-19 trends

  Stats SA showed

  that of those expected to work during lockdown, 91% continued to

  receive pay and 12.8% received reduced salaries. Nine in ten graduates

  received their full salaries during the second quarter.

  Last week,

  during a briefing on the economic outlook to the Parliament's Standing

  Committee on Finance, SA Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago noted

  that the recovery in employment levels following the pandemic was

  lagging behind the GDP recovery – this after the economy suffered a -7%

  contraction in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated


  Kganyago, however, pointed out that earnings had returned to pre-pandemic levels.

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