Unemployment highest in SA since 2008 – Stats SA

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A Stats SA report has confirmed that South Africa’s unemployment rate is currently the highest it has been since 2008.

The report, released on Thursday, revealed “significant movements” in the country’s labour market showing a large number of people moved to unemployed status between the second and third quarter of 2020.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), the unemployment rate increased by 7,5 percentage points to 30,8%, the highest unemployment rate recorded since labour force surveys started in 2008. The amount of unemployed people increased to 6,5 million in the third quarter of 2020 – 2,2 million more than in the second quarter of the year.

Stats SA said: “Those who were expected to work in the reference week during the national lockdown, but could not do any work during that period indicated the national lockdown as the main reason for not actually working (71,7%), while the rest indicated ill health (13,3%); family responsibility (3,2%); or shift work arrangements (11,9%) as their main reasons for not working.”

The report goes on, “Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2020 where 17,0% indicated that they worked from home, this proportion declined to 10,9% in the 3rd quarter of 2020. Working from home was more prevalent in Gauteng and Western Cape and among Professionals and Managers (indicative of access to tools of trade to facilitate work from home for these workers).”

The full report can be downloaded from the Stats SA website.