Stats SA: More than half of EC residents of working age unemployed in Q4

While the Eastern Cape tops the expanded unemployment chart among all provinces, its neighbour, the Western Cape’s rate stood at 26.8% as the least affected by the crisis.

FILE: Unemployed builders, tilers and plumbers hold signs seeking jobs on the side of the road in South Africa. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has found that more than half of all people of working age in the Eastern Cape were unemployed during the fourth quarter of 2020.

This was contained in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey which indicated the country’s unemployment rate has risen to a record high of 32.5%.

READ: SA unemployment rate increased to 32.5% in q4 of 2020 - Stats SA

The data also showed that black people were still the worst affected by joblessness.

While the Eastern Cape tops the expanded unemployment chart among all provinces, its neighbour, the Western Cape’s rate stood at 26.8% as the least affected by the crisis.

The country’s economic hub, Gauteng, has the second-highest joblessness rate at 41%.

The expanded definition of unemployment which includes discouraged job seekers declined by 0.5 percentage points to 42.6% as compared to the third quarter.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said: “We have seen that we are sitting in Q3 at 6.5 million people unemployed. When we say unemployed we are talking about people who are actively looking for employment. This increased by 701,000 people.”

The unemployment rate among black people now stood at 36.5% - higher than the national average and other population groups.

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