SA's unemployment figures a big sign of a depression, says economist

On Tuesday, Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the second quarter of 2021, which showed that unemployment rose to a record high of 34.4%.

FILE: Unemployed builders, tilers and plumbers hold signs seeking jobs on the side of the road in Johannesburg in November 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The latest unemployment figures are being described as depressing, with economists saying that a performance boost in certain industries will go a long way in turning the situation around.

On Tuesday, Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the second quarter of 2021, which showed that unemployment rose to a record high of 34.4%.

South Africa now has the highest unemployment rate in the world, with economist Mike Schussler saying this is a huge problem.

β€œIt is a big sign of a depression, there's no country in the world that continuously in the last 27 years has had such a high unemployment rate,” Schussler said.

Economist Chifipa Mhango said that government needed to start implementing some of its economic recovery plans as a matter of urgency.

β€œA key element, which we'll be advocating for, is the infrastructure recovery plan,” Mhango said.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said that 11.9 million people in South Africa now formed part of the expanded definition of unemployment.

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