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SA unemployment rate increases to 30.8% in Q3 of 2020 - QLFS

The expanded definition of unemployment increased by 1.1 percentage points to 43.1% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to quarter two.

Picture: Flickr.com

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s unemployment rate increased by 7.5 percentage points to 30.8% in the third quarter of 2020 compared with the second quarter, according to data from Statistics South Africa.

In the second quarter, the official unemployment rate decreased from 30.1% in the first quarter of 2020 to a record low of 23.3%. However, the country was under a hard lockdown in the second quarter of the year, with prospective job seekers unable to look for work.

The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey report for the third quarter of 2020 showed that the number of employed people increased by 543,000 to 14.7 million compared to the second quarter. It also showed that unemployment increased substantially by 2.2 million to 6.5 million compared to the second quarter of 2020, resulting in an increase of 2.8 million (up by 15,1%) in the number of people in the labour force.

The expanded definition of unemployment increased by 1.1 percentage points to 43.1% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to quarter two.

At the same time, economists and labour experts have warned that the factors, which influenced the figures, were unreliable as it weighed mainly on the impact of the hard lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which started in March and affected many businesses, as workers were compelled to stay home.

Statistician General Risenga Maluleke said, “We saw in the third quarter of 2020, a number of people - around 2,2m people– coming out of sitting at home and going to actively look for employment. And these 2,2 million people increased the number of people actively looking for employment from the second quarter, which was 4,3 million to 6,5 million people.”

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