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Over 34% of South Africans jobless as army of unemployed continues to swell - StatsSA

A group of unemployed people standing on the side of the road in the Pinetown CBD looking for odd jobs. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

A group of unemployed people standing on the side of the road in the Pinetown CBD looking for odd jobs. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Nov 24, 2021

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Cape Town - The number of people joining the ranks of the unemployed continues to rise in the country with Statistics SA saying the unemployment rate was now standing at 34.4%.

This is according to StatsSA acting deputy director-general Nozipho Tshabalala who briefed Parliament’s portfolio committee on employment and labour on the impact of Covid-19 lockdown on employment during the second quarter.

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StatsSA said the second quarter saw an increase of 1.8% in jobless people, compared with the first quarter.

Tshabalala said restrictions related to Covid-19 created an obstacle to collect data and operations. StatsSA resorted to collecting data via computer assisted telephone interviewing.

Results of the labour force participation showed that there were increases in both unemployed and discouraged work seekers while 584 000 more people became unemployed.

The finance sector saw an employment loss of 278 000 jobs, community and social services dropped by 166 000 and manufacturing employment decreased by 83 000.

Unemployment figures increased from 7.2 million in the first quarter of this year to 7.8 million in the second quarter, while discouraged job seekers increased by 186 000, Tshabalala said.

Chief director of labour statistics at StatsSA, Malerato Mosiane, elaborated that the unemployment rate among the black African population group stood at 38.2% and remains higher than the national average and other population groups from 36.7% in the first quarter.

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“Black African women are the most vulnerable with an unemployment rate of 41.0% in quarter 2.”

Approximately 3.4 million which comprises 33% out of 10.2 million young people aged 15 to 24 years were not in employment, education or training.

Mosiane added that of the 14.9 million individuals who were employed in the second quarter, at least eight in every 10 (82.7%) were expected to work during the national lockdown by the companies or organisations they worked for.

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