SA unemployment rate rises to 34.4%

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By: Staff Reporter

SA’s unemployment rate hit a new record high of 34.4% in the second quarter of 2021 from 32.6% in the first quarter, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.

Stats SA said the number of unemployed people totalled 7.826-million in the three months to the end of June, compared with 7.242-million in the previous three months.

The rate was the highest since the quarterly labour force survey began in 2008.

According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 44.4% of the labour force was without work in the second quarter, from 43.2% in the first quarter.

The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 235 000 (8.7%), and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 1.1 million (7.4%) between the two quarters, resulting in a net decrease of 890 000 in the not economically active population.