Education level main driver of who had pay cuts in lockdown - QLFS

The third quarter Labour Force Survey showed that the unemployment rate rose to 30.8% between July and September while the expanded definition increased to 43.1%.

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JOHANNESBURG - The latest available figures show that 96% of working South Africans expected to return to work after the national lockdown.

However, with the COVID-19 prevention measures having already ravaged the economy, some are now unsure about their future prospects while 1.6% of them say they will not be returning to the same job.

The third quarter Labour Force Survey showed that the unemployment rate rose to 30.8% between July and September while the expanded definition increased to 43.1%.

While the data may suggest that the lockdown has not had as devastating an impact on jobs as was expected, workers did not only have to contend with the question of job security.

The Labour Force Survey showed that education was the main driver of who had their pay cut.

Nine in every 10 employed graduates at 89.8% continued to receive full salaries compared to those with less than a matric at 79.3%.

Speaking to the SABC after the release of the survey on Thursday, Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said indications were, however, that there was greater movement in the labour market since the relaxation of the lockdown alert levels.

“What defined unemployment is that people must be actively looking for employment and during the hard lockdown in the second quarter, people were actively looking for employment.”

South Africa only entered lockdown level one, which opened the majority of sectors in the economy, in September at the conclusion of the data collection for the survey.

The data also points to women being the hardest hit workers by the regulations as men were predominantly working in most industries, except community and social services and private households.

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