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Ramaphosa hopes to see rapid rebound in employment after 2.2m jobs lost

The president was responding to the data released by Stats SA, which revealed that South Africa's unemployment rate fell to 23.3% in the second quarter from 30.1% in the first quarter due to fewer people looking for work amid the nation's strict coronavirus lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa is calling on all citizens to work towards a rapid rebound in employment after 2.2 million jobs were lost nationwide in the second quarter of 2020.

The president was responding to the data released by Stats SA, which revealed that South Africa's unemployment rate fell to 23.3% in the second quarter from 30.1% in the first quarter due to fewer people looking for work amid the nation's strict coronavirus lockdown.

It marks the lowest rate since the third quarter of 2009.

Ramaphosa said that South Africa's success in responding to the crisis would be measured by the speed of its labour market recovery.

The president said that South Africans must ensure that every job lost during the crisis was replaced and that more jobs were created so the country could meaningfully reduce unemployment.

He has also given an assurance that Cabinet was finalising a programme for a return to growth and a rebound in employment.

In its quarterly labour survey report, Stats SA warned that this sharp fall in the unemployment rate was not a reflection of an improvement in the labour market but was rather an effect of the national lockdown, since the official definition of unemployment required that people look for work and were available for employment.

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