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Unemployment Rate Soars In South Africa

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Tafadzwa Mwanengureni
Tafadzwa Mwanengureni
I am a student journalist at Harare Polytechnic majoring in print journalism

SOUTH AFRICA. Pretoria: South Africa has recorded a high unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter amidst the COVID-19 recession.

A Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by StatsSA on Tuesday shows that unemployment has increased from 30.8% in the third quarter to 32.5% with the black African population group remain higher than other races.

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The African population in South Africa is at 36.5%, coloured 25.7%, Asian 11.8%, and white 8.8%.

In a media release, StatsSA wrote “the number of employed persons increased by 333 000 to 15 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, and the number of unemployed persons also increased by 701 000 to 7,2 million compared to the third quarter of 2020, resulting in an increase of 1,0 million (up by 4,9%) in the number of people in the labour force”.

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See also: Education Is Still A Battle for Some Students in South Africa

“The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 235 000 (8,7%), and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 1,1 million (7,4%) between the two quarters, resulting in a net decrease of 890 000 in the not economically active population”, read part of the release.

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In the third quarter, the number of employed people increased by 543 000 (3.8%).

Youths between 15-24 and 25-34 age group recorded the highest unemployment rate in the country.

However, the statics reinforced the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) national stay-away call against the government’s neoliberalism on February 24.

“The pictures published by StatsSA on 23 February paint a horrific picture of a pandemic that continues to discriminate against our people based on their race, gender, age, and geographical locations and above all, their class location as exploited workers”, reads the statement.

On the same day, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is set to deliver the country’s budget for 2021.


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