South Africa’s unemployment rate increased by 7.5 percentage points to 30.8 percent of the labour force in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the second, the national statistics agency said on Thursday.
The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes those discouraged from looking for jobs and those with other reasons for not searching, such as the national lockdown imposed late in March in response to Covid-19, also rose by 1.1 percentage points to 43.1 percent, Statistics South Africa said.
In its latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, the agency said the number of employed people increased by 543,000 to 14.7 million in the third quarter compared with the second.
Unemployment increased by 2.2 million to 6.5 million, resulting in the size of the labour force going up by 15.1 percent.
“The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 225 000 and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 2.9 million between the two quarters,” Stats SA said.