SA unemployment rate jumps to record highs (before virus hit)

SA unemployment rate jumps to record highs (before virus hit)

Unemployment rate. Picture: Twitter

Eastern Cape recorded the highest official and expanded unemployment rates.

In a record-breaking spike, the South African unemployment rate has shattered records, standing at 30.1%, the highest ever recorded.

Announcing the quarterly labour force survey on Tuesday morning, Stats South Africa (Stats SA) confirmed the previous unemployment rate stood at 29.1%, and that the number of unemployed people in the country skyrocketed to 7.1 million in the first three months.

Although the lockdown kicked in March, Stats SA indicates that the number of employed people saw a decline in the first quarter.

“The number of employed persons decreased by 38,000 to 16.4 million and the number of unemployed persons increased by 344,000 to 7.1 million in the first quarter.

“The largest employment decreases were observed in the formal sector (50,000), followed by the agricultural sector with 21,000 in [the first quarter].

“Employment in the informal sector and private households increased by 3,000 and 30,000 respectively.”

The organisation highlights that irrespective of gender, the black and coloured population groups remained vulnerable in the labour market.

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