South Africa-Economy-Unemployment

S/Africa’s unemployment rate spikes to 32.5% in 2020 Q4

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

While South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 32.5% in the last three months of 2020, the good news is that the actual number of employed persons increased by 333,000 to 15 million at year-end, Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke disclosed on Tuesday.

The increase presented a 1.7 percentage point hike from the third quarter of 2020, Maluleke said, adding that employment increased in all sectors of the country’s economy in the fourth quarter.

He explained: “Formal sector employment increased by 189,000 (1.8%); informal sector employment by 65,000 (2.6%); private households by 76,000 (6.8%), and employment in agriculture increased by 2,000 (0.3%).”

The head of Statistics South Africa added that “employment increased in all industries, except finance and mining.”

“The industries which gained the most jobs were community and social services (170,000) and construction (86,000).”

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, employment contracted in all industries, he noted.

This was because most job losses were observed in finance (256,000), community and social services (241,000) and manufacturing (230,000), according to Maluleke.

The official said results indicated that of the 15 million persons who were employed in final quarter of 2020, almost eight out of 10 people (78.3%) were expected to work during the national lockdown by the companies or organisations they worked for.

“Those who actually worked were predominately men in most industries, except in the community and social services sector and private households, where the majority were women,” he said.

However, when the agency tallied statistics of the overall unemployment figure, the country has some 11.1 million unemployed workers or 32.5% of the workforce, he added.

NM/jn/APA

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