South Africa Battles High Unemployment Rate At 32.6%

South Africa Battles High Unemployment Rate At 32.6%

Unemployment figures in Africa’s most industrialised economy South Africa has continued to see an uptick, with the figure currently at 32.6 percent up from 32.5 percent.

The rate surged within a period of three months, as recorded in a report by Statistics South Africa on Tuesday, a report by Bloomberg states.

South Africa’s unemployment population almost levels with that of the unemployment rate in Nigeria, which stands at 33.3 percent.

Africa’s economic growth continues to be slowed by the swelling unemployment rate, as 43.2 percent of South Africans who do not have jobs are not in a hot search for one.

Statistics South Africa noted that “These minor changes resulted in the official unemployment rate increasing by 0.1 of a percentage point from 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021 – the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008.”

It added that a large chunk of the South African population transitioned from “employed” to “not economically active” and also “unemployed” between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.

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The figures, Statistics SA noted, were influenced greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic, springing from the widespread lockdown directive issued by the South African Government to curb the spread of the coronavirus, leaving many employees inactive post-lockdown.

In the first quarter of 2021, unemployment numbers were largely observed in private households at 70,000 while the informal sector followed closely with 19,000 and the agricultural sector with 18,000.

The formal sector saw a growth in employment levels by 79,000, the only sector to record employment increases.

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